Burkinabe, Francis Kéré wins the 'Nobel of architecture' Prize Award.
Diebebo Francis Kere born in the town of Gando, Burkina Faso becomes the first African architect to win the Pritzker Prize on March 15 2022, the most important award in the architecture discipline.
Kere achieved just that, becoming an architect and completing his first building, Gando Primary School, in 2001. The project proved to be a springboard for his career and still guides his ethos today. Having further transformed his village and other communities across Africa with his socially minded designs, the 56-year-old has now been named among the greats of his profession.
Gando Primary School Extension / Kere Architecture. Image courtesy Erik Jan Ouwerkerk.
The organizers of the Pritzker Prize, often dubbed the "Nobel of architecture," revealed Kere as its 2022 laureate. The first African architect to claim the award in its 43-year history, Kere achieved the feat with a portfolio consisting largely of schools, health centers and community facilities projects that might once have been considered too modest for a prize that has historically honored the designers of iconic buildings.
Though Kere has since designed bigger projects, including large-scale campuses and two national parliaments, his approach remains grounded in principles established in Gando. Raising funds for the school from overseas, the architect returned to his village with plans for a contemporary and sustainable 5,600-square-foot facility. Knowing the village had no access to electricity or air conditioning, he proposed strategically placed windows that allow indirect sunlight to enter while generating airflow that serves as natural ventilation.
Xylem @ Iwan Baan (6)
Francis Kere will officially be named Pritzker laureate at a ceremony in London later this year. As with previous winners, he will be awarded a $100,000 grant and a bronze medal.