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    diébédo francis kéré of burkina faso became the first african awarded what top architecture honor?


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    Burkina Faso

    Kere, 56, was hailed for his "pioneering" designs that are "sustainable to the earth and its inhabitants — in lands of extreme scarcity," said Tom Pritzker, chairman of the Hyatt Foundation that sponsors the award


    Burkina Faso-born Kere First African to Win Pritzker Architecture Prize

    March 15, 2022 5:51 PM

    Agence France-Presse

    Burkinabe architect Diebedo Francis Kere is photographed in his office in Berlin, on March 15, 2022, after being awarded the 2022 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

    NEW YORK —

    The Pritzker Prize, architecture's most prestigious award, was awarded Tuesday to Burkina Faso-born architect Diebedo Francis Kere, the first African to win the honor in its more than 40-year history.

    Kere, 56, was hailed for his "pioneering" designs that are "sustainable to the earth and its inhabitants — in lands of extreme scarcity," said Tom Pritzker, chairman of the Hyatt Foundation that sponsors the award, in a statement.

    Kere, a dual citizen of Burkina Faso and Germany, said he was the "happiest man on this planet" to become the 51st recipient of the illustrious prize since it was first awarded in 1979.

    "I have a feeling of an overwhelming honor but also a sense of responsibility," he told AFP during an interview in his office in Berlin.

    Kere is renowned for building schools, health facilities, housing, civic buildings and public spaces across Africa, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Togo, Kenya, Mozambique, Togo and Sudan.

    "He is equally architect and servant, improving upon the lives and experiences of countless citizens in a region of the world that is at times forgotten," Pritzker said.

    Burkinabe architect Diebedo Francis Kere is seen during a celebration next to pictures of some of his projects on the wall in his office in Berlin, on March 15, 2022, after being awarded the 2022 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

    Kere won plaudits for his 2001 project for a primary school in Gando village, in Burkina Faso, where he was born.

    Unlike traditional school buildings, which used concrete, Kere's innovative design combined local clay, fortified with cement to form bricks that helped retain cooler air inside.

    A wide, raised tin roof protects the building from rain while helping the air circulate, meaning natural ventilation without any need for air conditioning.

    Kere engaged the local community during the design and building phase, and the number of students at the school increased from 120 to 700, the Hyatt Foundation said in its release.

    The success of the project saw the creation of an extension, a library and teachers' housing in later years.

    Kere "empowers and transforms communities through the process of architecture," designing buildings "where resources are fragile and fellowship is vital," the Pritzker statement added.

    "Through his commitment to social justice and engagement, and intelligent use of local materials to connect and respond to the natural climate, he works in marginalized countries laden with constraints and adversity," the organizers said.

    In Kere's native Burkina Faso, his accolade was hailed as a reminder that Burkina Faso should be known internationally for more than a violent jihadi insurgency that has gripped the country.

    Groups affiliated to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group have killed more than 2,000 people and displaced at least 1.7 million.

    "In the current pain of the security crisis, our country must remember that it is also the nation of exceptional men like Francis Kere," said Ra-Sablga Seydou Ouedraogo, of the non-profit Free Afrik.

    Nebila Aristide Bazie, head of the Burkina Faso architects' council, said the award "highlights the African architect and the people of Burkina Faso."

    In 2017, Kere designed the Serpentine pavilion in London's Hyde Park, a prestigious assignment given to a world-famous architect every year.

    He was also one of the architects behind Geneva's International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum and has held solo museum shows in Munich and Philadelphia.

    "I am totally convinced that everyone deserves quality," he said in his office, where he celebrated his award with his team.

    "I'm always thinking how can I get the best for my clients, for those who can afford but also for those who cannot afford.

    "This is my way of doing things, of using my architecture to create structures to serve people, let's say to serve humanity," Kere added.


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    Source : www.voanews.com

    Diébédo Francis Kéré becomes first African architect to win the Pritzker Prize

    Kére, who divides his time between Germany and his native Burkina Faso, is known for designing buildings in conditions of extreme scarcity.


    Diébédo Francis Kéré becomes first African architect to win the Pritzker Prize

    Architect Diébédo Francis Kéré's Gando Primary School drew the attention of the architecture world for the way he used a combination of smart design and modest building materials.(Erik-Jan Owerkerk )


    MARCH 15, 2022 7 AM PT

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    When he was 7, Diébédo Francis Kéré left his native village of Gando in Burkina Faso at the insistence of his father so that he might learn to read and write. Gando, about 115 miles southeast of the capital of Ouagadougou, had neither a school nor electricity nor running water, so Kéré headed to Tenkodogo, a nearby provincial capital.

    An unlikely path led Diébédo Francis Kéré to architecture. Now, his innovations have earned him the 2022 Pritzker Prize — the first African to earn the award.(Lars Borges)

    As he recounted in a 2013 TED Talk, Kéré returned home on holidays, and at the end of every visit, he made the rounds to all the village compounds to say his goodbyes. At each stop, the women would tug at a knot in their skirts to reveal a penny tucked into their waistbands — often their last penny — that they’d give him as a parting gift. The pennies were their way of contributing to the boy’s education. By investing in Kéré, they hoped that he might be successful and that he would one day “come back and help improve the quality of life of the community.”

    It was a worthwhile investment: Kéré is now an architect, and in 2001, he did indeed return to Gando to build a much-needed elementary school. Crafted from locally made clay bricks, his one-story school not only made the most of filtered light and passive ventilation but the graceful design — a series of rectangular volumes sheltered by a gently curving overhanging roof — also drew the attention of the architectural press.

    It was the first of several such education buildings that Kéré designed for Gando, buildings for which he also did the fundraising — at times by cajoling his Berlin architecture school classmates into giving up extra coffee and cigarettes so they might give their spare change to him.

    For this work and for other designs in which he has brought together communities to build collectively, Kéré on Tuesday morning was named the 2022 laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.

    The design of Gando Primary School, in 2001, took architect Diébédo Francis Kéré back to the village where he grew up.(Erik-Jan Owerkerk )

    It’s a historic turn for the Pritzkers: Kéré is the first African and the first Black person to win the prize, which, since its inception in 1979, has primarily gone to male architects from Europe, the United States and Asia. “He knows, from within, that architecture is not about the object but the objective; not the product, but the process,” reads the jury’s citation. “Francis Kéré's work shows us the power of materiality rooted in place.”

    The award marks a continued interest in social architecture on behalf of the Pritzker’s jurors. Last year’s winners were French architects Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal, founders of the namesake firm Lacaton & Vassal, a duo known less for their form-making than for their surgical revamps of existing designs — such as the expansion of a blocky public housing building in Bordeaux that added windows and patios to once-dim apartment units.

    Of his work, Kéré said in a statement: “It is not because you are rich that you should waste material. It is not because you are poor that you should not try to create quality.”


    A view of Francis Kéré's Startup Lions Campus in Turkana, Kenya, completed last year. The building’s towers help keep the structure cool.(Francis Kéré)

    Kéré was born in Burkina Faso in 1965, the son of a traditional village chief in Gando. In 1985, after studying in Burkina Faso, he traveled to Germany on a vocational carpentry scholarship, but ultimately became intrigued by architecture. In the 1990s, he was awarded a scholarship to attend the Technische Universität Berlin, and he completed an advance degree there in 2004. In fact, his design for a primary school in Gando was part of his studies. Recalling the sweltering concrete boxes he studied in as a boy in Tenkodogo, he was determined to devise a building and materials that would work economically and climatologically.

    Source : www.latimes.com

    Diébédo Francis Kéré: The first African to win architecture's top award

    Diébédo Francis Kéré says receiving the Pritzker Prize has made him the "happiest man on this planet".

    Diébédo Francis Kéré: The first African to win architecture's top award

    Published 1 day ago


    Burkino Faso-born architect, Diébédo Francis Kéré, has become the first African to win the prestigious Pritzker Prize, which is often referred to as the Nobel Prize of architecture. His highly esteemed work, including permanent and temporary structures, has been erected in his country of birth, but also across Africa, Europe and the United States.

    Mr Kéré, 56, was elated to receive what is considered architecture's most renowned award, telling the BBC he was "very happy, very proud. It was a huge surprise."

    But his decades-long journey to the top of his field was far from straightforward, with limited opportunities in his village.

    "I grew up in a community where there was no kindergarten, but where community was your family," he told the Pritzker Prize.

    "I remember the room where my grandmother would sit and tell stories with a little light, while we would huddle close to each other and her voice inside the room enclosed us, summoning us to come closer and form a safe place. This was my first sense of architecture," he continued.


    At the age of seven, Mr Kéré found himself crammed into an extremely hot classroom with more than 100 other students.

    As the first child in his community to have attended school, this experience of poor building facilities was his earliest inspiration to improve the educational lives of Burkina Faso's children, using architecture.

    Years later and after studies in Germany, the dream became a reality, with Mr Kéré designing a primary school in his home village of Gando as his first building in 2001.

    It was built with significant input from local people, who contributed to the workforce and resources, according to the prize's website.


    "Architecture is an instrument we can use to create better cities, to create space to inspire people, to create classrooms which inspire the best generation," he told BBC Afrique.



    The success of the primary school earnt Mr Kéré the Aga Khan Award in 2004, which is awarded every three years to identify building projects that address the needs of societies with a large Muslim population.

    The renown of the Gando school later paved the way for him to design more educational establishments, like Lycée Schorge, also in Burkina Faso.


    One of the distinguishing markers of Mr Kéré's work is his use of light, which Pritzker Prize facilitators noted in their announcement: "A poetic expression of light is consistent throughout Kéré's works. Rays of sun filter into buildings, courtyards and intermediary spaces, overcoming harsh midday conditions to offer places of serenity or gathering."



    Mr Kéré's signature use of light is also evident in his design of healthcare facilities, such as the Centre for Health and Social Welfare in Burkina Faso's Opera Village, which is still under construction, according to the architect's own website.


    Beyond his designs in Burkina Faso, the award-winning architect has also designed permanent and temporary structures across Europe and the United States, such as London's 2017 Serpentine Pavilion.

    Each year, the Serpentine Gallery invites an international architect to build their first ever London edifice on its grounds.

    His inspiration for the design was the trees in his home village of Gando, with structures that sought to connect the visitors with the surrounding nature, according to the Serpentine website.



    Source : www.bbc.com

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