Pritzker Prize winner Diébédo Francis Kéré has been named the 2023 Praemium Imperiale laureate for architecture. The annual award, presented by the Japan Art Association, recognizes and awards 6 artists from different creative fields: architecture, music, painting, sculpture, and theatre or film. Francis Kéré, who leads the Berlin-based office Kéré Architecture, has received the prestigious award for his influence on African and global architecture, engaging local communities and site-specific materials to create innovative design and engineering solutions.
Diébédo Francis Kéré: The Latest Architecture and News
Every “Year In Review” assessment of anything is both myopic and timely. That being said, 2022 was a "Boom" time for architects (and the building industry in general). This snapshot will change in 2023 when this year’s manufactured interest rate jumps will crib death this short and intense boom.
But some things have more meaning than can be found in the moment. 2022 proved that the “Mad Men” model in the profession as a white male clubhouse is over. Gender and race inequalities remain in architecture, but they are acknowledged flaws in urgent need of correction. Beyond these evolutions and revolutions, a new generation of architects is changing the profession.
Honoring the 2022 Laureate, the Burkinabé architect Francis Kére, The Pritzker Prize releases a ceremony video from the recently opened Marshall Building at the LSE, designed by the 2020 Pritzker Laureates Yvonne Farrell, and Shelley McNamara. The documentary includes remarks by the awardee, Tom Pritzker, and previous Laureates such as Alejandro Aravena, Norman Foster, Anne Lacaton, and Jean-Philippe Vassal. This ceremony presents Kéré with the 2022 Pritzker Prize medallion, the highest honor in architecture, certifying him as a Laureate for his extraordinary work with communities and architectural ingenuity.
The immensity of China leads to the diversity of customs and climatic conditions. Each area has its own unique materials, construction methods, and climate adaptation measures. The regional characteristics of Chinese architecture are generally preserved in rural buildings. But we cannot overlook how contemporary technology may considerably improve the living and use conditions of rural buildings. What is the best way to create a balance between classic or inherent technology and new ones? How would the construction of rural architecture provide inspiration for the development of Chinese architectural cultural symbols?
2022 Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Diébédo Francis Kéré reported the great solutions of Burkina Faso. Kéré insists to build comfortable buildings at a reasonable price; to make users happy and inspire them to dream of a better life. The pride of the local culture is reinforced by the use of local materials and traditional techniques. And then Kéré‘s works in other countries show cultural emblems of Burkina Faso, which are the consequence of his own cultural accumulation.
Martha Thorne on Francis Kéré: "He Gives a Powerful Message about the Expanding Role of Architecture"
Pritzker Prize 2022 Laureate Francis Kéré is known for “empowering and transforming communities through the process of architecture”, as the jury stated in its citation. In this recently published video, Martha Thorne, Dean of IE School of Architecture and Design and former executive director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, shares some of the reasons why Francis Kéré has won the Pritzker Prize 2022.
Last Tuesday, March 15, Francis Kéré became the first African architect to win the Pritzker Prize, the most important award in the architecture discipline.
The election of Kéré is not only symbolic in a time of identity demands, where the institutions that make up the mainstream are required to more faithfully represent the social, cultural, and sexual realities that make up our societies, but it also confirms the recent approach of the Pritzker Prize jury.
"I Draw on Paper, but I Prefer to Draw on the Ground". This phrase caught my eye during Diébédo Francis Kéré's speech at the AAICO (Architecture and Art International Congress), which took place in Porto, Portugal from September 3 to 8, 2018. After being introduced by none other than Eduardo Souto de Moura, Kéré began his speech with the simplicity and humility that guides his work. His best-known works were built in remote places, where materials are scarce and the workforce is of the residents themselves, using local resources and techniques.
"I just wanted my community to be a part of this process," Diébédo Francis Kéré said in an ArchDaily interview published last year. It's hard to think of another phrase that so well sums up the modesty and impact caused by the newest winner of the Pritzker Prize of Architecture, whose work gained notoriety precisely for involving the inhabitants of his village in the construction of works that combine ethical commitment, environmental efficiency, and aesthetic quality.
Diébédo Francis Kéré founded his architecture practice Kéré Architecture, in Berlin, Germany in 2005, after a journey in which he started advocating for the building of quality educational architecture in his home country of Burkina Faso. Deprived of proper classrooms and learning conditions as a child, and having faced the same reality as the majority of children in his country, his first works aimed at bringing tangible solutions to the issues faced by the community.
The 2022 laureate of architecture’s highest honor, the Pritzker Architecture Prize is Diébédo Francis Kéré, known as Francis Kéré, Burkina Faso-born architect, educator, social activist, receiver of the 2004 Aga Khan Award for Architecture and designer of the 2017 Serpentine Pavilion. Recognized for “empowering and transforming communities through the process of architecture”, Kéré, the first black architect to ever obtain this award, works mostly in areas charged with constraints and adversity, using local materials and building contemporary facilities whose value exceeds the structure itself, serving and stabilizing the future of entire communities.
“Through buildings that demonstrate beauty, modesty, boldness, and invention, and by the integrity of his architecture and geste, Kéré gracefully upholds the mission of this Prize,” explains the official statement of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. Announced today by Tom Pritzker, Chairman of The Hyatt Foundation, Francis Kéré is the 51st winner of the award founded in 1979, succeeding Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal. Praised “for the gifts he has created through his work, gifts that go beyond the realm of the architecture discipline”, the acclaimed architect is present equally in Burkina Faso and Germany, professionally and personally.
The International Union of Architects (UIA) has announced the UIA Gold Medal and Prizes winners. The UIA Gold Medal is awarded to Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha, president of the 27th UIA World Congress of Architects — UIA2021RIO Honour Committee. The architect will also participate in a keynote speakers session programmed for July.
Paulo Mendes da Rocha, now 92 years old, has been honored with important awards, such as the Pritzker Prize in 2006, considered to be one of the world's premier architecture prizes, and the Venice Biennale Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, in 2016. Mendes da Rocha was the first Brazilian to be awarded this prize.
As part of our partnership with the 27th World Congress of Architects, we are sharing here an interview with architect Francis Kéré, a speaker confirmed for the UIA2021RIO, conducted by architect Miguel Pinto Guimarães.
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.
The 2019 Coachella Arts and Music Festival has begun with installations by Francis Kéré, Office Kovacs, and NEWSUBSTANCE in Indio, California. The festival opened to the public for its 20th year with a lineup featuring Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, and Ariana Grande as the headliners for the two-weekend experience. Over half a dozen large-scale installations have been built at Coachella featuring the work of up-and-coming artists, designers and architects.
Francis Kéré, Office Kovacs, and NEWSUBSTANCE are among a set of designers selected to create art installations for the Coachella Arts and Music Festival in California. The 2019 lineup has been announced with Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, and Ariana Grande headlining the two-weekend experience. Over half a dozen large-scale installations will be built at Coachella, where over 100,000 people will experience the work of up-and-coming artists, designers and architects.