todo-logo-kere todo-logo-kere

Colorscape

Status:

Completed 

Date:

Temporary installation 28th of May to 25th of September 2016

Site:

Skylit Atrium, Perelman Building, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Size:

45 sqm

Client:

Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA)

Collaborators:

University of Pennsylvania Undergraduate Architecture students (sounds)

Sponsors:

The Creative Africa series was supported by an Advancement grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. 
Institute of Museum and Library Services.
The Arlin and Neysa Adams Endowment Fund.
The Kathleen C. And John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions.
Osagie and Losengelmosogie, and a generous anonymous donor

Colorscape was produced as part of the Creative Africa series, supporting the monographic exhibition The Architecture of Francis Kéré: Building for Community. It proves how aggregating a simple material can produce an extraordinary structure. Inspired by Philadelphia’s rich tradition of textiles and woven crafts, the material used to create the installation is a locally sourced lightweight cord made of interwoven strands. Wrapped around prefabricated steel components and hung from the ceiling of the Perelman atrium space, the colourful cord becomes both massive in volume and a unifying element that encloses the visitors.

In the spirit of communal building practices in Western Africa, the detailing of the installation was designed so that it could be built by individuals without construction experience. Threading the components required no tools or complicated techniques, making the assembly process so safe and simple that children could participate.

Conceptually, the formal expression of the installation was generated using a combination of organic and rectilinear geometries inspired by the contrasting layouts of a typical small Burkinabè community and a large North American city. By overlaying the organic grid of the community of Gando with the rectilinear grid of William Penn’s Philadelphia, visual as well as conceptual parallels between the types and geometries of spaces begin to appear. Despite the differences in daily life between the urban western metropole and Gando’s agriculturally oriented compounds, there are similarities in the use of architecture to form social gradients ranging from the individual and private to the collective and public.

Integrated within Colorscape, the Sounds of the Village is a collection of audio samples recorded in different locations in Burkina Faso and Philadelphia. The sounds communicate atmosphere, an often-elusive aspect that enriches our experience of a place just as much as the visual and physical. 


Colorscape was produced as part of the Creative Africa series, supporting the monographic exhibition The Architecture of Francis Kéré: Building for Community. It proves how aggregating a simple material can produce an extraordinary structure. Inspired by Philadelphia’s rich tradition of textiles and woven crafts, the material used to create the installation is a locally sourced lightweight cord made of interwoven strands. Wrapped around prefabricated steel components and hung from the ceiling of the Perelman atrium space, the colourful cord becomes both massive in volume and a unifying element that encloses the visitors.

In the spirit of communal building practices in Western Africa, the detailing of the installation was designed so that it could be built by individuals without construction experience. Threading the components required no tools or complicated techniques, making the assembly process so safe and simple that children could participate.

Conceptually, the formal expression of the installation was generated using a combination of organic and rectilinear geometries inspired by the contrasting layouts of a typical small Burkinabè community and a large North American city. By overlaying the organic grid of the community of Gando with the rectilinear grid of William Penn’s Philadelphia, visual as well as conceptual parallels between the types and geometries of spaces begin to appear. Despite the differences in daily life between the urban western metropole and Gando’s agriculturally oriented compounds, there are similarities in the use of architecture to form social gradients ranging from the individual and private to the collective and public.

Integrated within Colorscape, the Sounds of the Village is a collection of audio samples recorded in different locations in Burkina Faso and Philadelphia. The sounds communicate atmosphere, an often-elusive aspect that enriches our experience of a place just as much as the visual and physical. 


Red section of Colorscape installation. Photo by Tim Tiebout.
Blue section of Colorscape installation. Photo by Tim Tiebout.
Colorscape city grid.
Colorscape plan.
Children running through Colorscape. Photo by James Bassett Cann.
Visitor at the Colorscape installation. Photo by Tim Tiebout.
Colorscape section.
Bird's-eye view of Colorscape. Photo by Tim Tiebout.