Diébédo Francis Kéré’s 2017 Serpentine Pavilion is set for tropical climes after being bought by Kuala Lumpur’s Ilham Gallery, according to a Malaysian newspaper.
The Star reports that the gallery’s director Rahel Joseph confirmed the ‘surprising yet very welcome’ news of its acquisition, adding it will be transported to the Malaysian capital early next year.
‘We will confirm the location at a later date,’ Joseph said. ‘Its too large for Ilham and we want to put it in a public space so people can enjoy. We are currently trying to identify a space for it in the Klang Valley.’
For his pavilion, Berlin-based African architect Kéré took design cues from a tree, the traditional meeting point for daily life in his native Burkina Faso. It features a canopy-like roof and stacked timber walls in a vibrant shade of indigo, designed to look like woven fabric.
Rainwater pours off its timber slatted roof – covered by a transparent skin – down into a void within the steel framework that supports the structure. On sunnier days, dappled sunlight filters through the roof, and pools in the central oculus.
Kéré’s pavilion is the 17th annual commission by the Serpentine Galleries. The London organisation has enlisted big-gun architects, including the late Zaha Hadid and Swiss practice Herzog & de Meuron, to design pavilions for its Kensington Gardens site, which are displayed from June through November before being sold.
These covetable pieces of ‘artchitecture’ command a premium: Bjarke Ingels’ 2016 ‘zipper’ pavilion was snapped up by developer Westbank earlier this year for an undisclosed sum, and will make its permanent home in Vancouver. Elsewhere Sou Fujimoto’s 2013 pavilion reportedly sold for £500,000 and Hauser & Wirth gallery bought Smiljan Radić’s 2014 design for £450,000.
It’s not clear what the gallery paid for the pavilion, however the amount was raised through donations from its supporters. The Spaces has reached out to the gallery for further comment.
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