Every year, in the hot, dry town of Djenné in Central Mali, something special takes place – La Fête de Crépissage. Roughly translated to the “Day of Plastering”, this day sees the entire community of Djenné collaborate to reinforce the mud walls of the Great Mosque of Djenné – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the African continent’s most distinctive architectural landmarks.
Architecture from Burkina Faso
Latest projects in Burkina Faso
Latest news in Burkina Faso
Local Expertise Versus Local Extraction: African Vernacular Architecture and a More Holistic Sustainability
Founder of the Berlin-based firm Kéré Architecture, Francis Kéré, has won the 2021 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture. Presented by the University of Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, the award is one of four honors recognizing achievements in architecture, citizen leaderships, global innovation, and law. The Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals recognize the exemplary contributions of recipients to the endeavors in which Jefferson excelled and held in high regard.
The history and architecture of Burkina Faso is tied to its landscape. As a landlocked country in western Africa, it occupies an extensive plateau with grassy savannas and sparse forests. More than two-thirds of the people live in rural villages, and as such, the country’s modern architecture is the product of ingenuity born from reimagining traditional building materials and techniques.
Architect Diébedo Francis Kéré was named Prince Claus Laureate for 2017, highlighting the cultural value and importance of beautiful, sustainable and empowering architecture.
We experience our cities daily through ordinary acts, whether it’s commuting, looking for a quiet place, having lunch downtown, or even exercising. However, one of the most exceptional ways to experience the different roles of a city's urban space is through traditional festivals, rooted in local cultures presented through different clothing, culinary arts, dances and other arts.
In Wake of Revolution, Francis Kéré Envisions a Transparent New Architecture for the Burkina Faso Parliament Building
On October 30, 2014, as Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaoré was preparing to make an amendment to the country’s constitution that would eliminate presidential term limits and allow him to extend his 27 year rule, tens of thousands of Burkinabé citizens in the capital city of Ouagadougou broke through police lines to set fire to several government buildings, including city hall, the ruling party headquarters, and the National Assembly Building. The following day, Compaoré stepped down, ushering in a new era of democratic rule and resulting in the country’s first ever pluralistic and competitive Presidential election in 2015.
Currently on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art, Award-winning African architect Diébédo Francis Kéré has created Colorscape, a installation made from steel and brightly-colored fiber, to accompany his first solo show in the United States. The exhibition is titled The Architecture of Francis Kéré: Building with Community, and features of a retrospective of the architect’s career that includes material artifacts, tools and scale-models created for stand-out projects in both Africa and Europe.
As the legacy of the Cold War fades and Western preeminence gradually becomes a thing of the past, population booms in Asia followed by the growth of a vast non-western middle class have seriously challenged the Western perception of the world. The East has become the focal point of the world’s development.
"Architecture is much more than art. And it is by far more than just building buildings" says award winning Burkina Faso architect Diébédo Francis Kéré. In the latest video from Louisiana Channel, Berlin-based Francis Kéré deliberates on the purpose of architecture in a changing society and the influence exerted by his home nation, Burkina Faso. For Kéré, context and medium are key: "I try to use local material: mostly clay and wood, to create buildings that are modern," he says. Kéré's clay modernism represents a new Burkina Faso, using natural and renewable materials as shown in School Library Gando. "If we build with clay we will have a better future, because we will use the resources we have," he adds.
In this TED Talk, Aga Khan Award-winning architect Diébédo Francis Kéré explains how to build a community with clay. With his firm Kéré Architecture, the Burkina Faso native has achieved international renown by using local building materials and techniques to engage and improve local expertise. Watch as explains how he applied his personal success to benefit the small African village he grew up in.
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