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  1. ArchDaily
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  3. Francis Kéré Creates Installation from Brightly Colored Thread for First U.S. Retrospective

Francis Kéré Creates Installation from Brightly Colored Thread for First U.S. Retrospective

Francis Kéré Creates Installation from Brightly Colored Thread for First U.S. Retrospective
Francis Kéré Creates Installation from Brightly Colored Thread for First U.S. Retrospective, © Tim Tiebout. Courtesy of PMA
© Tim Tiebout. Courtesy of PMA

Currently on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art, Award-winning African architect Diébédo Francis Kéré has created Colorscape, a installation made from steel and brightly-colored fiber, to accompany his first solo show in the United States. The exhibition is titled The Architecture of Francis Kéré: Building with Community, and features of a retrospective of the architect’s career that includes material artifacts, tools and scale-models created for stand-out projects in both Africa and Europe.

© Tim Tiebout. Courtesy of PMA © Tim Tiebout. Courtesy of PMA © Tim Tiebout. Courtesy of PMA © Tim Tiebout. Courtesy of PMA + 23

© Tim Tiebout. Courtesy of PMA
© Tim Tiebout. Courtesy of PMA

Francis Kéré was raised in the rural village of Gando, Burkina Faso, where architecture is designed through a transparent process involving the entire community. Kéré had carried those community-driven traditions into his work throughout the world, employing local knowledge and materials to give his buildings a sense of place.

The exhibition dives deeper into this construction process, displaying a curated selection of photos and models from his firm's projects including the Camper pop-up shop, the Gando school library and the Sensing Spaces Pavilion, along with three interactive films featuring clips from Kéré’s childhood and the construction of his most recent project, the Schorge Secondary School.

© Tim Tiebout. Courtesy of PMA
© Tim Tiebout. Courtesy of PMA

The dynamic Colorscape serves as the centerpiece of the display; inspired by Philadelphia’s long tradition of textile-work and weaving, it serves as an example of how using a simple material in an innovative way can captivate and unite a community. The installation uses a locally-sourced lightweight cord to wrap around prefabricated steel geometries, resulting in a gentle draped effect.

© Tim Tiebout. Courtesy of PMA
© Tim Tiebout. Courtesy of PMA

When placed in close proximity within the museum’s Perelman atrium space, the colors begin to blur and vibrate as you move around them. Extending from Kéré’s community-driven design philosophy, Colorscape’s simple construction required no tools or skilled techniques, allowing local children to participate in its assembly.

Conceptually, the installation takes inspiration from the contrasting city plan geometries of the African village and the American city. Overlaying the organic plan of Gando with the rigid grid of Philadelphia, Kéré shows that despite the two cities’ obvious differences, underneath you can find many similarities in how the societies use architecture to provide a gradient of social spaces ranging from the individual and private to the collective and public.

© Tim Tiebout. Courtesy of PMA
© Tim Tiebout. Courtesy of PMA

Part of the Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art’s Creative Africa series, which highlights the themes of cultural and community found in historic and contemporary African art and architecture, The Architecture of Francis Kéré: Building with Community will be on display until September 25th.

© James Bassett-Cann
© James Bassett-Cann

Colorscape Credits:

Location: Skylit Atrium, Perelman Building, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Architects: KERE ARCHITECTURE, Diébédo Francis Kéré

Design Team: Adriana Arteaga, Blake Villwock (project architects), Daniel Heuermann, Nanna Friis

Client: Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA)

Production / Project Management: Jack Schlecter, Jamie Montgomery, James Bassett-Cann (PMA)

Curators: Kathryn B. Hiesinger, Colin Fanning (PMA)

Audio/Video: Stephen Keever (PMA)

Collaborators: University of Pennsylvania Undergraduate Architecture students (sounds)

Fabricators: Philadelphia Museum of Art (cord assembly and structure), Moorland Studios (metal fabrication)

Volunteers: PMA staff and volunteers, Young Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Executive Board and event committee, and Museum visitors

Supplier: Gladding Braid

Sponsors: The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Institute of Museum and Library Services, The Arlin and Neysa Adams Endowment Fund, The Kathleen C. And John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions, Osagie and Losengelmosogie

© Tim Tiebout. Courtesy of PMA
© Tim Tiebout. Courtesy of PMA

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About this author
Patrick Lynch
Author
Cite: Patrick Lynch. "Francis Kéré Creates Installation from Brightly Colored Thread for First U.S. Retrospective" 01 Jul 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/790638/francis-kere-creates-installation-from-brightly-colored-thread-for-first-us-retrospective/> ISSN 0719-8884
© Tim Tiebout. Courtesy of PMA

Francis Kéré的彩线装置打造的首次美国回顾个展