This year’s Serpentine Pavilion is designed by Francis Kéré from Burkina Faso. He is the first African architect to design the Pavilion; following the more recent, posistive direction of choosing emerging architects rather than well known names to design the building.
The structure is surprisingly simple, almost bare and has a modern feeling to it. The African influence is not obvious. Introducing the blue colour is a refreshing choice. According to Kéré it symbolises celebration.
The structure is inspired by a tree shape, giving shade and protection from the sun and bringing people together to celebrate. The effect is working well. Inside you feel exactly like being covered by big leaves of a tree. It is quite “shady” even on a bright, sunny day. My critic to many architects, who have designed the Pavilion is that they haven’t thought enough about the location and British, North European summers. We don’t need to hide from the sun, quite the opposite. Many Pavilions like this one, have been too dark inside.
Another disappointment is that there are no tables. This makes the place feel like a very quick pit stop, as you don’t have a reason hang around too long.
The best part of the Pavilion is the beautiful wooden structure of the ceiling.