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THE COURTYARD VILLAGE

Diébédo Francis Kéré

A Matter of Perception: Tradition & Technology – Palazzo Litta, Corso Magenta 24, Milano

In collaboration with: Casone, Mutti, Euroambiente, Reggiani Illuminazione, Gaggenau, Eterno Ivica, Valerie_objects, Riva 1920

Taking cues from the social and spatial dynamics of a typical African village, the Courtyard Village aims to carve paths for social encounter and gathering among visitors. Defining this communal ground is an elevated platform surrounded by a groundcover of wild grasses. Overhead, a singular canopy of bamboo protects and shades the village community below. Upon the platform stand three open, circular shelters made of stone, whose shaping and materiality dually express a sense of transparency and mass. The primary method of construction for these pavilions highlights the use of stone as both a primitive and innovative building material. The instinctive and primal act of stackingis reinterpreted and expanded to underscore the material’s potential for lightness and transparency. Reminiscent of traditional African textiles, a bold pattern of alternating horizontal and vertical elements creates a playful ‘hide and seek’ effect within the historic courtyard of the Palazzo Litta.

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