francis kéré provides a place for gathering at the chicago architecture biennial francis kéré provides a place for gathering at the chicago architecture biennial
nov 04, 2015

francis kéré provides a place for gathering at the chicago architecture biennial


francis kéré provides a place for gathering at the chicago architecture biennial
image by tom harris / © hedrich blessing

 

 

 

berlin-based architect francis kéré has designed a wooden ‘place of gathering’ at chicago’s inaugural architecture biennial. the scheme broaches two themes that are fundamental to kéré’s work: maximizing local materials, and facilitating the exchange of ideas and knowledge. as a native of burkina faso, kéré grew up in the rural village of gando, a place with very challenging climatic conditions and limited resources. the region is home to many remote settlements, and community members depend on one another for the survival and prosperity of the group as a whole.

francis kere architecture place for gathering chicago architecture biennial 2015 designboom
the seating has been installed within the historic chicago cultural center
image by steve hall / © hedrich blessing

 

 

 

the community helps to rear and educate the children, build and maintain the housing, and cultivate crops that help to sustain the village,’ explains the design team. ‘in this sense, the village community can be seen as a great extended family. from an architectural standpoint, it is essential to designate spaces where people can come together and communicate. whether for celebrating special events, having discussions about important decisions to be made, or simply coming together to gossip and share stories.’

francis kere architecture place for gathering chicago architecture biennial 2015 designboom
the design team sought to design a space for visitors to reflect and communicate
image by tom harris / © hedrich blessing

 

 

 

as the biennial can be viewed as a coming together of the architectural community, kéré sought to design a space for visitors to both reflect and communicate. located inside the historic chicago cultural center, the installation is constructed from locally-sourced wood, forming a terrain where guests can connect in an informal yet direct way. despite the vast differences between gando and chicago, the intervention makes room for a variety of cultural narratives, traditions and aspirations.

 

see designboom’s comprehensive coverage of the chicago architecture biennial here.

francis kere architecture place for gathering chicago architecture biennial 2015 designboom
the installation is constructed from locally-sourced wood
image by tom harris / © hedrich blessing

francis kere architecture place for gathering chicago architecture biennial 2015 designboom
the terrain allows guests to connect in an informal yet direct way
image by tom harris / © hedrich blessing

francis kere architecture place for gathering chicago architecture biennial 2015 designboom
axonometric drawing of the seated terrain

francis kere architecture place for gathering chicago architecture biennial 2015 designboom
conceptual drawing indicating the importance of communal gathering points

francis kere architecture place for gathering chicago architecture biennial 2015 designboom
the remote village of gando in burkina faso
image © francis kéré

 

chicago architecture biennial lakefront kiosk competition ultramoderne chicago horizon pavilion designboom

 

 

the chicago architecture biennial provides a platform for groundbreaking architectural projects and spatial experiments that demonstrate how creativity and innovation can radically transform our lived experience.

 

the inaugural chicago architecture biennial, north america’s largest international survey of contemporary architecture, launched in october 2015. through its constellation of exhibitions, full-scale installations, and program of events, the biennial invites the public to engage with and think about architecture in new and unexpected ways, and to take part in a global discussion about the future of the field.

 

the chicago architecture biennial is the vision of mayor rahm emanuel for a major international architectural event and an outcome of the comprehensive cultural plan developed by chicago’s department of cultural affairs and special events. it is presented through the support of BP, and in partnership with the city of chicago and the graham foundation for advanced studies in the fine arts.

 

the chicago architecture biennial remains open to the public until january 3, 2015.

  • does it really matter if the material is “locally sourced” when the design itself is wasteful in it’s use of said material? maybe there are plans to reuse it once the installation comes down?

    alberto says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
LOG IN
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

architecture news