Human Architecture – “I am hoping to change the paradigm, push people to dream and undergo risk.” Says 2022 Pritzker Architecture Prize laureate Diébédo Francis Kéré. The architect is known for schools, health facilities and professional housing built in Africa by local communities with the bare minimum of resources
“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.” Said Diébédo Francis Kéré. “Everyone deserves quality, everyone deserves luxury, and everyone deserves comfort. We are interlinked. Concerns in climate, democracy and scarcity are concerns for us all.”
Born in Gando, Burkina Faso, and based in Berlin, the architect, educator and social activist empowers communities in Africa where architecture and infrastructure are absent. His prominent projects are contemporary school institutions, health facilities, professional housing, civic buildings and public spaces. They often feature walls of clay-earth bricks shaded by large, overhanging corrugated metal roofs.
Diébédo Francis Kéré is the first black professional to win the most important architecture accolade. In a statement, he says that architecture “is a field where you need a lot of resources. You really need to be strong and be lucky, as competitions are not always so open. I hope that young people in Africa will see me and know that this is a possible path for them too.”
The architect established Kéré Foundation in 1998 to serve the inhabitants of Gando through the development of projects, partnerships and fundraising. “To move forward, people need to be inspired: they need buildings that enhance their creativity and push them to take their future into their own hands.” He established his practice Kéré Architecture in 2005 in Berlin, Germany.
Tom Pritzker, Chairman of The Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the Pritzker Architecture Prize, said: “His pioneering architecture is sustainable to the earth and its inhabitants, in lands of extreme scarcity. He is equally architect and servant, improving upon the lives and experiences of countless citizens.”
“Francis Kéré’s entire body of work shows us the power of materiality rooted in place. His buildings, for and with communities, are directly of those communities – in their making, their materials, their programs and their unique characters.” Stated the Pritzker Prize Jury.
All photos: courtesy of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
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