Berlin-based Burkinabé architect Diébédo Francis Kéré has designed a wooden pavilion for Tippet Rise Art Center in Montana. In addition to the pavilion, the Tippet Rise Fund of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation will also support Kéré's work to build an environmentally sustainable secondary school in Burkina Faso called Naaba Belem Goumma. Kéré designed the project in the Beartooth Mountains so visitors can experience a "rain of light" as sunlight filters through a structure of vertically stacked logs.
The 1,900 sq ft wooden pavilion was designed to reimagine Kéré’s Serpentine Pavilion in London last year. The structure will be created in collaboration with the Montana-based architect Laura Viklund of Gunnstock Timber Frames and host poetry readings, classical recitals and other programs. It will be made as a gathering place for contemplation from Ponderosa and Lodgepole pine, two types of local timber.
The artists and philanthropists Peter and Cathy Halstead founded the 12,000 acre Tippet Rise outdoor center in 2016. Cathy Halstead says that, "Kéré has done many beautiful and imaginative projects that felt to us like they could be native to Tippet Rise. His projects and astounding life story—and what he’s accomplishing for the students of his home village—is so moving and compelling, and that made us think beyond the borders of the center to create a partnership that would help accomplish his goals, creating a link between Tippet Rise and Kéré’s vision in Burkina Faso."
As Kéré states, "The logs of the canopy are assembled in circular bundles supported by a modular hexagonal structure in weathering steel, lying on top of seven steel columns. The upper surface of the canopy is carved in order to create a rounded topography that blends in with the surrounding hills. At the same time massive and light, the roof is inspired by the “toguna”, the traditional sacred space in every Dogon village, a wooden and straw shelter designed in order to protect from the sun but at the same time to allow the ventilation of the shaded space underneath."
The pavilion is scheduled to open in summer 2019.