Serpentine Pavilion glows at night to “attract people to come and celebrate” says Francis Kéré

In an exclusive Dezeen movie, Berlin-based architect Diébédo Francis Kéré explains how the colour of his Serpentine Pavilion and the way it lights up at night are references to his childhood in Burkina Faso.

Kéré’s oval-shaped structure features a courtyard enclosed by curving walls made from stacked wooden blocks, sheltered by a large, slatted timber roof.

The form of the canopy is informed by a tree in the village of Gando in Burkina Faso, where Kéré grew up.

“The pavilion that I was commission to do is inspired by a tree,” he explains in the movie, which Dezeen filmed at the Serpentine Pavilion 2017 press preview in London yesterday.

“Where I come from in Burkina Faso, a tree is often a public space. It can be a kindergarten, it can be a market – a gathering place for everyone.”

The intention was to create a structure that provides shelter, while allowing visitors to experience the natural elements, Kéré says.

“The idea was to create a huge canopy that allows the visitors to feel the elements but being protected,” he explains.

“It is enclosed by wooden blocks which are perforated and allow the air to circulate, which creates comfort inside.”

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