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Francis Kéré: Radically Simple

Status:

Completed 

Date:

Temporary exhibition from November 16th 2016 –March 26th 2017

Site:

Pinakothek der Moderne, München, Germany

Size:

600 sqm

Client:

Architekturmuseum der TU München

Collaborators:

Architekturmuseum der TU München

Sponsor:

STABILO International GmbH

In collaboration with the Architekturmuseum der TU München, Kéré Architecture presented its first retrospective at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. Francis Kéré: Radically Simple chronicles Kéré’s work through a hybrid of site-specific installations, films and artefacts. Mirroring the architect’s biography, which bridges Burkina Faso and Germany, the exhibition was organised into three themes: Village, Beyond the Village and Coming Home.

The design and materiality found in Kéré’s architecture influenced the exhibition displays and furniture. Visitors entered through a forest of four-metre tall timbers. This passage not only created a sensory transition, it symbolised the transition from youth to adulthood. In Kéré’s birthplace Gando, this step is marked by a ceremonial journey into the deep forest. Leading on from this, the Village section echoed the material and layout of Gando’s traditional compounds in an installation of curved partition walls covered in hemp burlap.

In Beyond the Village, model stands and a space-frame installation produced in steel rebar alluded to Kéré’s signature flying roof. Seating made of bundled wooden sticks recalled the Louisiana Canopy or the Lycée Schorge Secondary School façade. Material artefacts from Kéré’s extensive archive were also presented including clay bricks, traditional Burkinabè construction tools and previously unseen architectural models, which were complemented by a series of photographs and films in embedded media hubs.

The final gallery, Coming Home, emphasised education as a catalyst for Kéré’s practice, and featured a one-to-one-scale plan of the Gando Primary School. On custom-fabricated chairs – duplicates of Gando’s school furniture – visitors were encouraged to sit in this ‘classroom’ and preview Daniel Schwartz’s documentary An Architect Between. Nearby, a mock-up of the Sensing Spaces pavilion encouraged visitors to insert coloured pencils into black honeycomb panels, creating an always shifting, interactive installation. Sponsored by STABILO International GmbH, it was a representation of the work of the Kéré Foundation e.V.. After the exhibition, a total of 15,000 coloured pencils were sent to schools in Burkina Faso.

In collaboration with the Architekturmuseum der TU München, Kéré Architecture presented its first retrospective at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. Francis Kéré: Radically Simple chronicles Kéré’s work through a hybrid of site-specific installations, films and artefacts. Mirroring the architect’s biography, which bridges Burkina Faso and Germany, the exhibition was organised into three themes: Village, Beyond the Village and Coming Home.

The design and materiality found in Kéré’s architecture influenced the exhibition displays and furniture. Visitors entered through a forest of four-metre tall timbers. This passage not only created a sensory transition, it symbolised the transition from youth to adulthood. In Kéré’s birthplace Gando, this step is marked by a ceremonial journey into the deep forest. Leading on from this, the Village section echoed the material and layout of Gando’s traditional compounds in an installation of curved partition walls covered in hemp burlap.

In Beyond the Village, model stands and a space-frame installation produced in steel rebar alluded to Kéré’s signature flying roof. Seating made of bundled wooden sticks recalled the Louisiana Canopy or the Lycée Schorge Secondary School façade. Material artefacts from Kéré’s extensive archive were also presented including clay bricks, traditional Burkinabè construction tools and previously unseen architectural models, which were complemented by a series of photographs and films in embedded media hubs.

The final gallery, Coming Home, emphasised education as a catalyst for Kéré’s practice, and featured a one-to-one-scale plan of the Gando Primary School. On custom-fabricated chairs – duplicates of Gando’s school furniture – visitors were encouraged to sit in this ‘classroom’ and preview Daniel Schwartz’s documentary An Architect Between. Nearby, a mock-up of the Sensing Spaces pavilion encouraged visitors to insert coloured pencils into black honeycomb panels, creating an always shifting, interactive installation. Sponsored by STABILO International GmbH, it was a representation of the work of the Kéré Foundation e.V.. After the exhibition, a total of 15,000 coloured pencils were sent to schools in Burkina Faso.

Entrance to the Radically Simple exhibition. Photo by Daniel Schwartz.
Francis Kéré at the Radically Simple exhibition. Photo by Daniel Schwartz.
Axonometry of exhibition plan of Radically Simple.
Plan of Radically Simple.
Radically Simple at the Architekturmuseum TU Munich. Photo by Daniel Schwartz.
Project displays at the Radically Simple exhibition. Photo by Daniel Schwartz.
Visitor looking at an aerial shot of Gando at the Radically Simple exhibition. Photo by Kéré Architecture.
Screen and furniture on display at the Radically Simple exhibition. Photo Simon Koy.
Material samples on display at the Radically Simple exhibition. Photo Daniel Schwartz.
Material samples and artifacts on display at the Radically Simple exhibition. Photo Daniel Schwartz.
Architectural model on display at the Radically Simple exhibition. Photo Daniel Schwartz.
Interactive wall at the Radically Simple exhibition. Photo by Daniel Schwartz.
Visitor walking through the Radically Simple exhibition. Photo by Daniel Schwartz.
Visitors seated on Schorge Chairs watching a video the Radically Simple exhibition. Photo by Matthias Kestel.