Francis Kéré has designed Tippet Rise’s new 2,100-square-foot pavilion, Xylem, drawing inspiration from the wooden and straw toguna structures sacred in Dogon communities in West Africa. Nestled in a grove of aspen and cottonwood trees beside Grove Creek and the art center’s central campus, Xylem is constructed of locally and sustainably sourced ponderosa and lodgepole pine and features a canopy of vertical logs, which filters shafts of light onto the seating areas. The seating elements’ organic shapes are inspired in part by abstract paintings that artist and Tippet Rise co-founder Cathy Halstead created based on forms of microscopic life, in addition to the sinuous topography of the surrounding hills. Visitors to Tippet Rise may gather within Xylem to converse or contemplate the views, or sit and meditate in solitude. From time to time, programs will be hosted in the pavilion, including poetry readings and musical performances.
In keeping with the educational mission of Tippet Rise, the Tippet Rise Fund of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation is supporting Francis Kéré in building environmentally sustainable and climatically appropriate schools in West Africa by funding the construction of a new school he has designed in his birthplace, the village of Gando in Burkina Faso. Opening in January 2020, the Naaba Belem Goumma Secondary School will accommodate approximately 1,000 students. More details about the school, which is named for Kéré’s father, are available here.
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