Therme Art Program


Therme Art Program is pleased to present Tugunora, designed by famed architect Francis Kéré, within the context of the 4141 Design showroom in collaboration with Dacra. Tugunora was commissioned by Therme Group™ as a site-specific theater environment for the Miami instalment of their Therme Forum talks series during Design Miami/ in December 2018.


Tugunora by Francis Kéré at 4141 Design in the Miami Design District


The collaboration between Therme Art Program and Francis Kéré’s studio, along with the theater’s relocation to the Miami Design District, represents the latest in a series of architectural projects at the core of Therme Group™’s mission—to work with artists and architects in developing large-scale projects that challenge the limitations of conventional exhibition spaces, which reach wide and diverse audiences. As both a symbolic and functional space for public gathering, Tugunora underscores Therme Art Program’s continued support of communal environments and will continue to be a part of Therme Art Program’s programming after its display at 4141 Design.

“We see design in its broader dimension, in accordance with our company’s strong belief in the connection between ethics and aesthetics. We want to connect conversations around the design of objects, architectural strategies and urban planning, because all of these provide a framework for human interactions and relationships. This human dimension is exactly what the architecture of Francis Kéré represents for us.” – Mikolaj Sekutowicz, Therme Art Program Curator and Vice President, Therme Group™


Francis Kéré’s Tugunora at Design Miami/ 2018. Andrea Maretto for Kéré Architecture


Photography by Alejandro Chavarria, World Red Eye.


About Tugunora

Tugunora is a hybrid word formed from the ancient Greek term agora, a public space for assembly and discussion and the Burkinabè word tuguna, a traditional gathering space in Western African villages, where elders come together to confer regarding important matters of the community. While the agora is an open space, the tuguna is often built from a round log structure, which supports a roof of woven leaves.

“The design we did here was intended to get all of you to be part of the debate,” stated Kéré as his opening remark during Therme Forum at Design Miami/ in regard to the Talks Theater.

Kéré integrated these two concepts into the design of the Talks Theater through a range of modular and wooden seating elements, varying in height and surrounding the speaker’s podium. Translucent, structural lamps were suspended above the theater space. Combining the elders’ practice with the agora’s intention of public assembly, the Talks Theater is an inviting place of exchange and dialogue—a place that generates knowledge and fosters discourses on contemporary art, architecture, design and city planning.

For more information on Therme Forum at Design Miami/ 2018 click here


About Francis Kéré

As founder and Lead Architect of Kéré Architecture, Francis Kéré’s architectural practice has been recognized nationally and internationally with awards including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (2004) for his first building, a primary school in Gando, Burkina Faso and the Global Holcim Award 2012 Gold. He has developed innovative construction strategies that combine traditional building techniques and materials with modern engineering methods. Kéré’s work has recently been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Architekturmuseum in Munich and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (both 2016). In 2017, the Serpentine Galleries commissioned him to design the Serpentine Pavilion in London.


About Dacra

Dacra is a real estate development company combining culture, commerce and design. Founded by Miami native Craig Robbins, Dacra has been the driving force behind the continued development of the Miami Design District for the past two decades. This district was also Robbin’s inspiration for the founding of Design Miami/ in 2005, now produced annually in Miami Beach, Florida, and Basel, Switzerland. 4141 Design is a luxury Italian furniture showroom in the Miami Design District.