The 2017 Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Diébédo Francis Kéré (Kéré Architecture), was unveiled today in London. Conceived as a micro cosmos—"a community structure within Kensington Gardens"—the pavilion has been designed to consciously fuse cultural references from Kéré's home town of Gando in Burkino Faso, with "experimental construction techniques." The architect hopes that the pavilion, as a social condenser, "will become a beacon of light, a symbol of storytelling and togetherness." A large wooden roof, supported by a concealed steel frame, has been sculpted to mimic the canopy of a tree. Four thresholds lead into a central open courtyard, in which fresh air can circulate freely. The roof, while sheltering visitors from London's summer heat (and, fortunately, from summer rain) can, in case of rain, funnel water toward an oculus "that collects on the roof into a spectacular waterfall," before being passed through a drainage system in the floor "for later use in irrigating the nearby parkland."
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