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.
Francis Kéré: The Latest Architecture and News
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.
Japanese architect Junya Ishigami's 2019 Serpentine Pavilion is taking shape in London. A series of photographs by Laurian Ghinitoiu showcase the project and its flowing, free-form roof. Ishigami is the second-youngest designer of the pavilion, and his work is known for a light and ephemeral approach. The design for the 2019 pavilion takes the form of a slate sheet rising from the landscape of the park, held up by pilotis that form an interior field.
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.
Tippet Rise Art Center has announced the commissioning of architect Francis Kéré to design a 1,900-square-foot pavilion for the center’s 10,000-acre grounds in Montana, USA. Envisioned as a “communal gathering space nestled among a cluster of aspen and cottonwood trees,” new renderings by Kéré Architecture depict the scheme featuring a locally-sourced log canopy.
As reported by the Star, the structure has been purchased by Kuala Lumpur-based Ilham Gallery, who are now searching for a permanent site of the pavilion in Malaysia.
In all but the most optimistic architect's career, there will be moments you come across doubts and insecurities about our profession. It is in these moments where the wisdom of the greats who have come before us can help provoke the inspiration needed to face the challenges proposed by architecture and urbanism.
Needing an architectural pick-me-up? Check out some advice from Alejandro Aravena, Álvaro Siza, César Pelli, Francis Kére, Jeanne Gang, Norman Foster and Paulo Mendes da Rocha after the break.
London’s annual temporary architecture pavilion spectacular has returned. Each summer the Serpentine Pavilion program selects an accomplished architect who has yet to create work in the United Kingdom, and asks them to build a temporary shelter on the gallery's lawn. The resulting structure is erected in June and dismantled in October.
This year’s offering is designed by Francis Kéré—the first pavilion designed by an African Architect to grace Kensington Gardens. Kéré’s project is composed of a series of curving blue walls shaded by an elliptical cantilevering wood and steel canopy. Thus far the design has been universally lauded by critics; read on to find out why they thought the project was so appealing.
Diébédo Francis Kéré's Serpentine Pavilion Opens in Sun-Drenched London – But Will Come Alive During Rain
The 2017 Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Diébédo Francis Kéré (Kéré Architecture), was unveiled today in London. Conceived as a micro cosmos—"a community structure within Kensington Gardens"—the pavilion has been designed to consciously fuse cultural references from Kéré's home town of Gando in Burkino Faso, with "experimental construction techniques." The architect hopes that the pavilion, as a social condenser, "will become a beacon of light, a symbol of storytelling and togetherness."
The Serpentine Galleries have announced that the 2017 Serpentine Pavilion will be designed by Diébédo Francis Kéré (Kéré Architecture), an African architect based between Berlin, Germany, and his home town of Gando in Burkino Faso. The design for the proposal, which will be built this summer in London's Kensington Gardens, comprises an expansive roof supported by a steel frame, mimicking the canopy of a tree. According to Kéré, the design for the roof stems from a tree that serves as the central meeting point for life in Gando. In line with the criteria for the selection of the Serpentine Pavilion architect Kéré has yet to have realised a permanent building in England.
Unlike almost any other architect, Diébédo Francis Kéré (born 1965 in Burkina Faso) stands for the association of constructive, social, and cultural aspects of building. He made a name for himself not only with his designs for Christoph Schlingensief’s Opera Village Africa. He has received numerous international awards, primarily for his building projects in his native country of Burkina Faso – including the 2004 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. His structures join his formal training at the Technische Universität Berlin with the traditional building methods of Burkina Faso. In doing so, he places local social and historical needs at the center of his design concepts.
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.
But the revolution left the former government complex in tatters and in need of a clear direction forward both culturally and architecturally. A former French colony, Burkina Faso is home to 19 million people, 50 different ethnicities and more than 60 languages. The country would require a new Parliament that could serve as a common ground for these diverse groups, while providing the technology and education necessary to create opportunities and a better quality of life for all Burkinabés.
To find this solution, last year, the new head of Parliament approached architect and Burkina Faso native Francis Kéré to develop a building and masterplan for the Assembly Building. The new building, in the architect’s words, would need to be one that could “not only address the core democratic values of transparency, openness and equality, but could also become a catalyst for growth and development for the capital city of Ouagadougou as a whole.”
With the 2016 Salone del Mobile now behind us, Romanian photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has shared his photos from Milan Design Week, along with his ranking of the top five architectural installations. Read on to see his exceptional collection of images accompanied by short descriptions of each project.
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.
If East Asia is the present focal point of this development, the future indisputably lies in Africa. Long featuring in the Western consciousness only as a land of unending suffering, it is now a place of rapidly falling poverty, increasing investment, and young populations. It seems only fair that Africa’s rich cultures and growing population (predicted to reach 1.4 billion by 2025) finally take the stage, but it’s crucially important that Africa’s future development is done right. Subject to colonialism for centuries, development in the past was characterized by systems that were designed for the benefit of the colonists. Even recently, resource and energy heavy concrete buildings, clothes donations that damage native textile industries, and reforestation programs that plant water hungry and overly flammable trees have all been seen, leaving NGOs open to accusations of well-meaning ignorance.
Fortunately, a growth in native practices and a more sensible, sensitive approach from foreign organizations has led to the rise of architectural groups creating buildings which learn from and improve Africa. Combining local solutions with the most appropriate Western ideas, for the first time these new developments break down the perception of monolithic Africa and have begun engaging with individual cultures; using elements of non-local architecture when they improve a development rather than creating a pastiche of an imagined pan-African culture. The visions these groups articulate are by no means the same - sustainable rural development, high end luxury residences and dignified civic constructions all feature - but they have in common their argument for a bright future across Africa. We’ve collected seven pioneers of Africa’s architectural awakening - read on after the break for the full article and infographic.