This summer, in Kensington Gardens in London, next to the permanent building of the Serpentine Gallery, an openwork pavilion will appear, inspired by the idea of a spreading tree as a meeting place and celebration - traditional for Africa and, in particular, for Burkina Faso, the birthplace of the author of the project Diebedo Francis Kere.
The main part of the structure is a light steel roof covered with transparent material with a rounded oculus hole in the center and shading wooden slats on the lower surface. It imitates the crown of a tree, protecting it from the weather and the sun, but allowing its rays to create a play of light and shade in the interior. When it rains, water will collect in the oculus like a funnel and plunge into the drainage system below it as a waterfall: then it will be collected and used to irrigate the park. The openwork walls of the pavilion will be made of wooden triangular blocks. Four entrances will provide natural ventilation to the pavilion. The permeability of the building will allow it to turn into a "lighthouse" in the evenings, when certain events take place inside.
Kere is known as an active supporter of socially responsible and environmentally friendly architecture, he mostly implements his projects in Burkina Faso, in his native village of Gando. His position was the impetus for a series of events in the pavilion on the issue of community and the right to the city, which will take place in the evenings, in parallel with the traditional program of discussions and concerts. In the daytime, the pavilion with an area of 300 m2 (this is the standard), like 16 buildings before it, will serve as a cafe and a resting place.
The Serpentine Gallery's summer pavilion program began in 2000 with a construction designed by Zaha Hadid: innovative architects who had not built anything in London at the time of the invitation were involved in it (at first it was about the whole of Great Britain, but over time the rules were relaxed). This year, for the first time, the choice of a hero took place without the participation of the founder of the program - the director of the Serpentine Gallery, Julia Peyton-Jones, who left this post in 2016, after 25 years of work. Therefore, the selection of candidates was handled by the gallery's new CEO, Jana Peel, artistic director Hans-Ulrich Olbrist and consultants - David Adjaye and Richard Rogers.
The program has become a model for many like it around the world; The temporary pavilion is London's most popular summer "event" and one of the most popular regular architecture events in the world. The pavilion is being built with the help of sponsors, and funds from its sale - after dismantling - at auction are also used. This year, the summer pavilion will be in Kensington Gardens from June 23rd to October 8th.