todo-logo-kere todo-logo-kere

Francis Kéré. Primary Elements.

Status:

Completed

Date:

Temporary exhibition from October 3rd, 2018 to February 3rd, 2019

Site:

Museo ICO, Madrid

Size:

590 sqm

Client:

Fundación ICO

Collaborators:

Luis Fernández-Galiano; Arquitectura Viva, Soda Comunicación; Fundación ICO; Jesús San Vicente Domingo; Gonzalo Doval Sánchez, Alicia Gómez Gómez; Mahala Comunicación; Zesauro; Intervento, Iniesto; ETSAM Summer Camp “Earth Architecture” (clay wall); Centro de Investigación en Arquitectura Tradicional (CIAT), the Superior Technical School of Architecture of Madrid (ETSAM), Fundación General de la Universidad Politecnica de Madrid; Town Hall of Boceguillas.

Francis Kéré. Primary Elements was a retrospective of Kéré Architecture’s practice from 2001 until 2018. Commissioned by Fundación ICO, the exhibition was on display at Museo ICO in Madrid from 3rd of October 2018 to 3rd of February 2019, and spread over approximately 600 sqm.

Curator Luis Fernández-Galiano linked Francis Kéré’s work with the theory of German architect and scholar Gottfried Semper who, in the 19th century, identified the stereotomic floor, the tectonic roof and the textile wall as primary elements of architecture. While Semper put the hearth as the starting point, the exhibition replaced it with the tree and its shade, which are central to Kéré’s work. Francis Kéré. Primary Elements explores the essential features of the architect’s aesthetics through the lens of Semper’s conceptions. 

Organised across three floors, the audience was invited to trace Kéré’s œuvre both sensorially and historically. After entering a recreation of the Gando Primary School Library, a scenography of rebar structures chronologically presented 27 designs in the form of photographs, renderings and models. The labyrinth led to the main hall of the exhibition, where large-scale floor, wall and roof elements filled the space and allowed visitors to experience Kéré’s architecture inside the museum.

Clay and textile walls, as well as cement, wooden and adobe platforms, were presented in dialogue, sheltered by a reproduction of the Serpentine Pavilion’s flying roof. Following the spatial experience of materials and elements, the third floor gave an insight into Kéré Architecture’s methodology by sharing various samples of construction materials and work models from the studio’s workshop in Berlin. Here, alongside Kéré’s artistic installations, the audience was introduced to the work of Kéré Foundation e.V.. A video room about the architectural practice concluded the exhibition. 


Francis Kéré. Primary Elements was a retrospective of Kéré Architecture’s practice from 2001 until 2018. Commissioned by Fundación ICO, the exhibition was on display at Museo ICO in Madrid from 3rd of October 2018 to 3rd of February 2019, and spread over approximately 600 sqm.

Curator Luis Fernández-Galiano linked Francis Kéré’s work with the theory of German architect and scholar Gottfried Semper who, in the 19th century, identified the stereotomic floor, the tectonic roof and the textile wall as primary elements of architecture. While Semper put the hearth as the starting point, the exhibition replaced it with the tree and its shade, which are central to Kéré’s work. Francis Kéré. Primary Elements explores the essential features of the architect’s aesthetics through the lens of Semper’s conceptions. 

Organised across three floors, the audience was invited to trace Kéré’s œuvre both sensorially and historically. After entering a recreation of the Gando Primary School Library, a scenography of rebar structures chronologically presented 27 designs in the form of photographs, renderings and models. The labyrinth led to the main hall of the exhibition, where large-scale floor, wall and roof elements filled the space and allowed visitors to experience Kéré’s architecture inside the museum.

Clay and textile walls, as well as cement, wooden and adobe platforms, were presented in dialogue, sheltered by a reproduction of the Serpentine Pavilion’s flying roof. Following the spatial experience of materials and elements, the third floor gave an insight into Kéré Architecture’s methodology by sharing various samples of construction materials and work models from the studio’s workshop in Berlin. Here, alongside Kéré’s artistic installations, the audience was introduced to the work of Kéré Foundation e.V.. A video room about the architectural practice concluded the exhibition. 


Replica of Serpentine Pavilion at Museo ICO. Photo by Kéré Architecture.
Exterior of Museo ICO during Francis Kéré - Primary Elements exhibition. Photo by Kéré Architecture.
Model of aerial view of Gando on display at Francis Kéré - Primary Elements exhibition. Photo by Kéré Architecture.
Visitors at Museo ICO during Francis Kéré - Primary Elements exhibition. Photo by Kéré Architecture.
Ground floor of Francis Kéré - Primary Elements exhibition.
Projects on display at Museo ICO. Photo by Kéré Architecture.
First floor of Francis Kéré - Primary Elements exhibition.
Model of Serpentine Pavilion on display at Francis Kéré - Primary Elements exhibition. Photo by Kéré Architecture.
Textile display at Francis Kéré - Primary Elements exhibition. Photo by Kéré Architecture.
Replicas of various projects at Francis Kéré - Primary Elements exhibition. Photo by Kéré Architecture.
Francis Kéré - Primary Elements exhibition at Museo ICO. Photo by Kéré Architecture.
Various architectural models on display at Francis Kéré - Primary Elements exhibition. Photo by Kéré Architecture.
Materials samples and artifacts. Photo by Kéré Architecture.