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Xylem, Kéré Architecture

Heart of the trees: Xylem Pavilion by Kéré Architecture

As a place of contemplation and peace, the wooden pavilion by Kéré Architecture at Tippet Rise Art Center invites visitors to access the heart of trees. This is appropriate, as  'Xylem', the name of the pavilion, refers to the woody conducting tissue responsible in vascular plants for the internal transportation of water and nutrients.

Fashioned out of sustainable pine wood, the 'Xylem' Pavilion is positioned in a slightly sunken landform between the main facilities of the art centre and a clearing surrounded by aspen trees. The roof, supported by seven steel columns, comes in an undulating shape resulting from circular bundles of logs held by a modular hexagonal structure of weathering steel.

Kéré Architecture's 'Xylem' Pavilion refers not only to the traditional "toguna" shelters of the West African Dogon ethnic group but also to a project in Burkina Faso that the architectural office was also working on at the time: completion of the Naaba Belem Goumma Secondary School in Gando, Francis Kéré's birthplace. Dedicated to Francis Kéré's father, the school is open to the children of the neighbouring area in the Burkinabè savannah.

Further information: 

Architect: Kéré Architecture, Diébédo Francis Kéré

Design team: Vincenzo Salierno, Nina Tescari

Contributors: Kinan Deeb, Andrea Zaia, Lina Wittfoht, N’Faly Ismaël Camara

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

Total Footprint Area: 256 m2

Altitude: 1394 m a.s.l.

Platform Area: 195 m2

Platform diameter: 15,80 m

Roof Area: 256 m2

Roof diameter: 18,10 m

Maximum roof height: 4,75 m

Current magazine
DETAIL 12/2021

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