tippet rise art center to break ground on francis kéré-designed pavilion

tippet rise art center to break ground on francis kéré-designed pavilion

tippet rise art center will soon break ground on a pavilion designed by architect francis kéré — the latest of the sculptural buildings that populate its landscape. following in the footsteps of ensamble studio, among others, the 1,900-square-foot gathering place is scheduled to open in summer 2019. located close to the art center’s central campus, the design is inspired by the traditional togunas of the dogon culture of mali. these sacred shelters with wooden pillars are carved with ornaments representing the ancestors.

francis kere pavilion tippet rise
exterior view of the pavilion designed by francis kéré at tippet rise art center in montana
image courtesy of kéré architecture (also main image)



the toguna’s layered roof of wood and millet straw allows for protection from the sun as well as ventilation within the space below. tippet rise’s latest pavilion will be constructed of locally and sustainably sourced ponderosa and lodgepole pine, and will feature a canopy of vertical logs. these create what francis kéré calls a ‘rain of light’ effect above the seating areas. here, visitors will be encouraged to gather to converse or contemplate the views, or to sit and meditate in solitude.


‘at tippet rise, we want the buildings to have the material and formal integrity of sculptures and the sculptures to have the scale and presence of architecture, with both kinds of structure rooted deeply in the experience of land and sky,’ says tippet rise co-founders peter and cathy halstead. ‘that’s why, from the first time we encountered francis kéré’s enthralling work, we knew his architecture would be perfect for tippet rise.’

francis kere pavilion tippet rise
interior view of the pavilion designed by francis kéré at tippet rise art center in montana
image courtesy of kéré architecture



in keeping with the institution’s educational mission, the tippet rise fund of the sidney e. frank foundation is also supporting kéré in his work to build environmentally sustainable and climatically appropriate schools in west africa, funding the construction of a new school he has designed in his birthplace, the village of gando in burkina faso. both the school and the pavilion are scheduled for completion in summer 2019.



project info:


architect: francis kéré / kéré architecture
official website: tippet rise art center

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