Tippet Rise Art Centre’s new pine log pavilion

Envisaged to be a communal gathering space resting among a grove of aspen and cottonwood trees, a 1,900 square-foot pavilion is to be built for the Tippet Rise Art Centre’s 10,000-acre grounds in Montana, United States (U.S.).

West African architect Francis Kéré has been commissioned to create the pavilion. Known for his dedication to sustainability, the pavilion is to be built with logs from local ponderosa and lodgepole pine. They will be arranged in a round structure with a circular bridge extending outwards, spanning over an adjacent stream. The bridge features a number of seating areas positioned strategically to views across the water, meadows, and hills.

The pavilion will also feature a log canopy with light trickling down to the irregular loop-sided seating areas underneath. Visitors entering the pavilion can take in the scenic view of the surrounding landscape or climb onto a sculpted platform on top of the canopy to capture a heightened view.

The form of the seating area was inspired by a series of paintings created by Tippet Rise co-founder Cathy Halstead based on the poetic, abstract forms of microscopic life, expressed through the irregular looping of the pavilion’s seating.

The design was inspired by the traditional “togunas” of Mali’s Dogon culture, which used wooden pillars to build sacred shelters, and layers of wood and millet straw to form their roofs.

Designed in collaboration with architecture firm Gunnstock Timber Frames, the new pavilion is expected to open in the Summer of 2019. When completed, it will contribute to a contemplative space consisting of other architectural works across the art centre’s landscape, including several sculptural works by Ensamble Studios.

*All images are credited to Kéré Architecture