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Xylem

Status:

Completed

Date:

2019 

Site:

Tippet Rise Art Centre, Fishtail, Montana

Size:

200 sqm

Client:

Tippet Rise Art Center, Fishtail, Montana

Collaborators:

Project Management: Pete Hinmon, Tippet Rise Art Center, Fishtail, Montana
Architect of Record: Laura Viklund, Fishtail, Montana
Structural Engineer: AECOM, London, United Kingdom
Structural Engineer of Record: DCI Engineers, Bozeman, Montana
Civil Engineer: DOWL Engineering, Billings, Montana
General Contractor: On Site Management, Bozeman, Montana
Wood Fabricator: Chris Gunn, Gunnstock Timber Frames, Powell, Wyoming
Steel Fabrication: TrueNorth Steel, Billings, Montana
Steel Erection: Western States Steel Erection, Billings, Montana
Concrete: Davis and Sons Construction, Absarokee Montana

Kéré Architecture designed Xylem, the gathering pavilion for the Tippet Rise Art Centre, as a quiet, protective shelter. Named to evoke the vital internal layers of a tree’s living structure, Xylem is a place where visitors of this vast outdoor art space can gather to converse, or sit and contemplate in solitude.

Located in a slightly sunken landform between the main facilities of the art centre and the start of the hiking tracks, the pavilion nestles in a clearing surrounded by aspen trees, facing a small creek. Entirely carved in wooden logs, the pavilion invites visitors into the heart of the trees. The sustainable pinewood used for the entire pavilion, locally sourced from a natural pruning process that saves forests from parasitic bugs, is used in its raw state.

The logs of the canopy are grouped in circular bundles within a modular hexagonal structure in weathering steel, supported by seven steel columns. The upper surface of the canopy is carved sinuously to blend into the surrounding hills. Simultaneously massive yet light, the roof is inspired by the tuguna, the sacred gathering space of many small Burkinabè communities – a low-level wood and straw shelter that offers protection from the sun while allowing for ventilation.

In the pavilion, sunlight filters through the vertical logs, creating a soft play of light and shadow on the curvilinear seating and polished concrete circular platform below. The spatial complexity of the carved wooden seating elements encourages visitors to explore different views of the surrounding landscape.

Xylem creates a link between Montana in the US and Burkina Faso, as it was built in parallel with the Naaba Belem Goumma Secondary School in Francis Kéré’s birthplace, Gando.


Kéré Architecture designed Xylem, the gathering pavilion for the Tippet Rise Art Centre, as a quiet, protective shelter. Named to evoke the vital internal layers of a tree’s living structure, Xylem is a place where visitors of this vast outdoor art space can gather to converse, or sit and contemplate in solitude.

Located in a slightly sunken landform between the main facilities of the art centre and the start of the hiking tracks, the pavilion nestles in a clearing surrounded by aspen trees, facing a small creek. Entirely carved in wooden logs, the pavilion invites visitors into the heart of the trees. The sustainable pinewood used for the entire pavilion, locally sourced from a natural pruning process that saves forests from parasitic bugs, is used in its raw state.

The logs of the canopy are grouped in circular bundles within a modular hexagonal structure in weathering steel, supported by seven steel columns. The upper surface of the canopy is carved sinuously to blend into the surrounding hills. Simultaneously massive yet light, the roof is inspired by the tuguna, the sacred gathering space of many small Burkinabè communities – a low-level wood and straw shelter that offers protection from the sun while allowing for ventilation.

In the pavilion, sunlight filters through the vertical logs, creating a soft play of light and shadow on the curvilinear seating and polished concrete circular platform below. The spatial complexity of the carved wooden seating elements encourages visitors to explore different views of the surrounding landscape.

Xylem creates a link between Montana in the US and Burkina Faso, as it was built in parallel with the Naaba Belem Goumma Secondary School in Francis Kéré’s birthplace, Gando.


Aeriel view of Xylem. Photo by Iwan Baan.
Sketch of Xylem by Francis Kéré.
Site plan of Xylem.
The visitors' pavilion at the Tippert Rise Art Centre. Photo by Iwan Baan.
Exterior view of Xylem. Photo by Iwan Baan.
Canopy in the snow.
General plan of Xylem.
Section of Xylem.
Detail of roof structure of Xylem. Photo by Iwan Baan.
Details of Xylem. Photo by Iwan Baan.
Bench inside Xylem. Photo by Iwan Baan.
Bird's-eye view of Xylem. Photo by Iwan Baan.
Model of Xylem.
Model of Xylem.