In 2017 he designed the annual garden pavilion of the Serpentine Gallery in London. The sense of openness was also fundamental to this temporary building. It had four different entry points that led into an open air courtyard, where visitors could sit and relax. The cantilevered roof acted as solar protection and an illuminated screen by night. An oculus in the middle of the roof embraced British weather in an unexpected manner. In case of rain, water was collected by the roof structure and funnelled downwards as a dramatic cascade before being evacuated by a drainage system in the floor.
“In my culture, certain trees hold spiritual meaning and mark important points of gathering and decision-making for the community. Like a tree, this pavilion offered protection from the sun but still allowed you to experience wind and rain,” explains Francis Kéré. As a consequence, the notion of inside and outside disappears. An open, inviting, yet protecting structure for social encounters that reinforces the sensuality of nature: aspects that go far beyond square meter numbers and investor aesthetics, giving the building process a pleasant human side.