Posts tagged with "francis kere":

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Francis Kéré to design reflection pavilion at the Tippet Rise Art Center in Montana

Berlin, Germany-based architect Francis Kéré has unveiled renderings for a planned musical pavilion set for the Tippet Rise Art Center in Montana. The free-form 1,900-square-foot pavilion is designed to provide refuge in the forest while mimicking surrounding trees through the use of locally-logged ponderosa pine and lodgepole pine timbers. The structure's rounded surfaces and a sculptural drop-down ceiling are meant to echo the traditional designs of tongunas, sacred shelters built using wooden pillars and carved ornamentation by the Dogon culture of Mali. The pavilion will be accessed on the heavily-wooded site by a thin path and a circular bridge that meanders over meadows, a stream, and forested areas. The passage is designed to only touch down on at two points in order to minimize the installation's intrusion on the natural landscape. Inside the pavilion, integrated seating will provide views of the internal structure, including the sculptural ceiling, which is made up of the aforementioned dropped-down logs that create a so-called "rain of light" effect when they are illuminated by the low-lying sun. Laura Viklund Gunn of Gunnstock Timber Frames will collaborate with Kéré and his team as the local project architect. In the past, Viklund has helped to construct a variety of other installations at the arts center. Regarding the project, Kéré said, “Standing on the high meadow of Tippet Rise Art Center, looking out at the mountains under a vast sky, people can face nature at its widest scale. But with this pavilion, Tippet Rise offers a more intimate experience of its landscape within a quiet shelter, where people can access the most secret part of nature: the heart of the trees." In conjunction with the project, the Tippet Rise Fund will provide financial support for the construction of a new school building in Burkina Faso, Kéré’s native country. The woody pavilion is scheduled for completion at the start of Tippet's summer 2019 program.
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Kéré’s Serpentine Pavilion goes up in West London

The 2017 Serpentine Pavilion, in West London's Kensington Gardens, has been built. Designed by Diébédo Francis Kéré, the Burkina Faso–born and Berlin-based architect, it's the 17th pavilion to be commissioned. (A new pavilion is erected annually ever summer.) For the design, Kéré drew inspiration from a tree in Gando, Burkina Faso, where he designed a school. In Gando, the tree acts as a way to bring people together, and in Kensington, Kéré has emulated this aspect with a wooden canopy, supported by steel framework, that shelters a gathering area. Furthermore, the architect aims to encourage connectivity with nature, as was also the case in Gando.

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While there is no literal tree here, Kéré achieves its effects with a translucent polycarbonate sheet rainwater collection system that transforms the graveled center of the pavilion—where the steel framework stems from—into a waterfall. It's estimated roughly 2,400 gallons of water will be collected, all of which will be used to irrigate the gardens. (Though it may be summer in London, there is no danger of it not raining—knock on wood.)

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"I am fascinated by how this artificial landscape offered a new way for people in the city to experience nature. In Burkina Faso, I am accustomed to being confronted with climate and natural landscape as a harsh reality," Kéré said in a press release. "For this reason, I was interested in how my contribution to this Royal Park could not only enhance the visitor’s experience of nature, but also provoke a new way for people to connect with each other." The gathering area, which offers seating, is encased by a series of blue walls made up of tesselating wooden triangles that curve with and away from the roof's focal point. The triangles, like the canopy above, are arranged so that subtle apertures allow light to filter through and amplify the pattern of triangular motifs. The walls, while rising above head height, do not come into contact with the canopy, nor do they fully enclose the area. This allows air to flow easily through the structure and also frames views above into the gardens actual trees. "As an architect, it is an honor to work in such a grand park, especially knowing the history of how the gardens evolved and changed into what we see today. Every path and tree, even the Serpentine lake, were carefully designed," Kéré added. Serpentine Artistic Director Hans Ulrich Obrist and CEO Yana Peel, along with advisors David Adjaye and Richard Rogers, chose Kéré, who works extensively across Europe, Africa, and his hometown of Gando. In the U.S., his work was most recently the focus of an exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The pavilion will be on show and open to the public from June 23 through October 8 of this year.
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Diébédo Francis Kéré wins the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture by the American Academy of Arts and Letters

Diébédo Francis Kéré has been awarded the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The prize is the highest accolade of those handed out by the academy, and Kéré was one of five winners of whom were selected from a group of 27 individuals and firms nominated by academy members. Already commissioned to design this year's Serpentine Pavillion in London, Kéré is enjoying a hot streak of late. Towards the end of last year, his work was the focus of an extensive exhibition in Munich, Germany and was also featured at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Additionally, he has been listed as a participant for this year's Chicago Architecture Biennial. In being awarded the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize, Kéré will take home $20,000. Born in Burkina Faso, though based in Berlin since 2005, Kéré has established a strong pedigree for himself as an African architect practicing in his home country in Gando, his hometown. In 2004, Kéré won the Aga Khan Award for his first building, a primary school for the village of Gando. Since then, Kéré has become renowned for his socially engaging and ecologically sensitive design. The jury for this year's awards comprised Elizabeth Diller, Henry N. Cobb, Peter Eisenman, Kenneth Frampton, Hugh Hardy, Steven Holl, Thom Mayne, James Polshek, Robert A.M. Stern, Billie Tsien, and Tod Williams. Four other prizes were also awarded. Arts and Letters Awards in Architecture went to critic paul Goldberger, landscape architect and urbanist Walter Hood, Chicago architect John Ronan, and Theaster Gates, whose socially-minded Rebuild Foundation has been working in Chicago's South Side neighborhood for a number of years. Gates and Goldberger will take home $10,000 each as a result. An awards ceremony will be held in New York this year where work by the winners will be on show as part of theExhibition of Works by Newly Elected Members and Recipients of Honors and Awards which can be found displayed at Audubon Terrace.
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Francis Kéré will design this year’s Serpentine Pavilion in London

Burkino Faso-born and Berlin-based architect Diébédo Francis Kéré has been tapped to design the 2017 Serpentine Pavilion at London's Serpentine Galleries. Recent winners have included Chilean architect Smiljan Radic (2014), Madrid-based SelgasCano (2015) and Bjarke Ingels (2016). In a first, last year's show not only featured Ingels' pavilion, but four other structures as well, by Kunlé Adeyemi, Asif Khan, Barkow Leibinger, and Yona Friedman. Serpentine Artistic Director, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and CEO Yana Peel, along with advisors David Adjaye and Richard Rogers, chose Kéré, who works extensively across Europe, Africa, and his hometown of Gando. In the U.S., his work was most recently the focus of an exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. His design for the 2017 Serpentine Pavilion aims to be a gathering space that connects people to each other and nature. Its sheltering steel canopy was, according to the Serpentine Galleries, "inspired by the tree that serves as a central meeting point for life in his hometown of Gando..." And while the pavilion will shade from the summer sun, it's prepared for more inclement weather as well: "In the case of rain, an oculus funnels any water that collects on the roof into a spectacular waterfall effect, before it is evacuated through a drainage system in the floor for later use in irrigating the park." Both the roof and the Pavilion's walls will be constructed from wood, though the latter will come in the form of prefabricated triangular blocks. In a time of rising xenophobia and climate change, Kéré's pavilion aims to send a message of inclusion and sustainability. In his statement, the architect said:
The proposed design for the 2017 Serpentine Pavilion is conceived as a micro cosmos—a community structure within Kensington Gardens that fuses cultural references of my home country Burkina Faso with experimental construction techniques. My experience of growing up in a remote desert village has instilled a strong awareness of the social, sustainable, and cultural implications of design. I believe that architecture has the power to, surprise, unite, and inspire all while mediating important aspects such as community, ecology and economy.
To read the rest of Kéré's statement and learn more about the pavilion, see the Serpentine Gallery's website here. The pavilion will be on view from June 23rd to October 8th, 2017.
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Francis Kéré’s diverse work featured at Philadelphia Museum of Art

Berlin-based, Burkina Faso–born Diebedo Francis Kéré is far from a typical architect, and his current one-man exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, on display through September 25, is also far from typical.

Kéré, 51, was born in Gando, an agricultural village in the West African nation of Burkina Faso, which has one of the world’s poorest and least educated populations. The first son of the tribal head of Gando, he was the only child in his village permitted to attend school, which he did in Burkina Faso’s second largest city, not far from Gando. He apprenticed to a carpenter there and in 1985 received a scholarship for a training program in Germany. After taking night classes in Berlin to earn his high school diploma, he studied architecture at the Technische Universitate and established his architecture practice there in 2005.

One of his earliest projects—which won him the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2004 and a prominent role in MoMA’s 2010 exhibition, Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement—is the 1999–2001 primary school he designed for Gando, which illustrates the cover of MoMA’s exhibition catalogue. It consists of three detached, rectangular classrooms, constructed of adobe and cement bricks, hand-made by locals; the school is covered with a corrugated metal roof and a dry-stacked ceiling of clay bricks that lets hot air escape from the classroom interiors.

According to the MoMA catalogue—which describes the construction of the school as “truly a community endeavor”—some Gando workers who built the school subsequently became skilled laborers on other projects, while local families’ interest in the school skyrocketed, with the enrollment of children who previously did not attend school from surrounding villages.

Kéré’s work in Gando continues. It’s illustrated in the Philadelphia exhibition with photographs, and actual building materials and tools, such as clay and wood samples, machine-pressed and hand-formed bricks, and laterite stones. He has designed teachers’ housing and an extension of the primary school, both complete, while a primary school library and a center for sustainable construction technologies and research are under construction.

Tall kiosks throughout the exhibition feature photographs of Kéré’s past, present, and future projects in Africa, including the Center for Earth Architecture in Mopti, Mali, and the Obama Legacy Campus in Kogelo, Kenya, birthplace of President Barack Obama’s father, as well as his work in Europe and the United States. The former includes a Camper pop-up store at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany; an installation at this year’s Fuorisalone in Milan inspired by the social and spatial dynamics of a typical African village; and the repurposing of former military barracks in Mannheim, Germany, into a hub for local engineering industries, now under development. His only U.S. project so far is the Place for Gathering, a “seating terrain” of locally-sourced wood that was designed for visitors from around the world attending the Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Also unusual in the Philadelphia exhibition is the subject matter and presentation of three videos, all shot in Africa and never displayed before. One video about a recently built school in Koudougou, Burkina Faso, depicts many stages of the project, all performed by locals without the use of heavy machinery. Seating here is provided by chairs made in Philadelphia, using the same materials (steel rebar and plywood) and design as Kéré’s chairs for Burkina Faso schools. Another video, which depicts overhead enclosures—including tree canopies, traditional thatch, and modern roofs made of steel trusses—was shot skyward and is shown on a large monitor hanging from the ceiling; a viewing platform below encourages visitors to lie back and observe. The third video, projected from the ceiling directly onto the floor below, explores the concept of shadow, whether in a classroom with chalkboards and desks, or under a baobab tree, and how shadows facilitate learning. One can walk into the projection, literally stepping into the gathering place.

Visitors pass the final part of the exhibition, a site-specific installation called Colorscape, as they enter the exhibition’s primary gallery, Suspended from the museum’s ceiling are steel frames threaded with hundreds of pieces of Philadelphia-made lightweight cord in many different colors. The rectilinear layout of the frames represents the formally-planned grid of William Penn’s Philadelphia, while the paths and spaces carved from the mass of strings represent the organic grid of Gando.

Those passing through the variously colored elements also can hear the Sounds of the Village, audio recorded in both Burkina Faso and Philadelphia, the former including sounds of the wind, birds, and chickens, the latter sounds of local streets and a Philadelphia Flyers hockey game. Just as Kéré enlists local people to work on his projects in Africa, Philadelphians—including University of Pennsylvania architecture students, museum staff, volunteers, and visitors—helped construct this installation.

In Gando and other agrarian societies, children learn from their elders, who teach them orally; they also learn by doing. Similarly, since he started his practice, Kéré has aimed to communicate design and architecture simply and directly, to be understood by African laborers not educated in reading sophisticated plans or architectural drawings, as well as by children. All these concepts inform the Philadelphia exhibition, stimulating thought and visual pleasure.

The Architecture of Francis Kéré: Building for Community runs through September 25, 2016. For more on the exhibit, visit here.
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Francis Kéré to be focus of extensive exhibition in Germany

Aga Khan Award winner Francis Kéré will have an extensive exhibition—dubbed Francis Kéré. Radically Simple—dedicated to his work at The Architecture Museum for Munich Technical University at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. Born in Burkina Faso, though based in Berlin since 2005, Kéré has established a strong pedigree for himself as an African architect practicing in his home continent. In 2004, Kéré won the Aga Khan Award for his first building, a primary school for the village of Gando—where he was born—in Burkina Faso. Since then, Kéré has become renowned for his socially engaging and ecologically sensitive design. The exhibition, arguably the most comprehensive to date on the Burkinabé architect, showcases a number of his projects in his home country. These include the Lycée Schorge secondary school in Koudougou, the Centre de Santé et de Promotion Sociale (Centre of Health and Social Promotion) in Laongo, and a primary school in Opera Village, also in Laongo. His work in Africa won't be the show's only subject. Kéré's projects—some yet to be complete—in China and Germany are also on display along with his exhibition activities, comprising contributions and competition entries in London, Humlebæk, Milan, Bordeaux, Chicago, Weil am Rhein, Philadelphia, and Venice. In addition to this, photographer and video artist Daniel Schwartz displays a wealth new images and videos of previously unpublished works. According to a musuem press release, Kéré "specifically created the exhibition design for... the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich in order to create a unique experience for the visitor." Francis Kéré. Radically Simple runs through February 26, 2017 with an opening at 7.00 p.m. on November 16 this year.