The internationally acclaimed architect and 2022 Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize Francis Kéré garnered critical praise from the beginning of his architectural practice when awarded the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture (2004) for his first ever building - a primary school he designed, raised the funds for and realised in collaboration with the residents of his native Gando, Burkina Faso.
Kéré has gone on to become one of the most distinguished contemporary architects thanks to his pioneering of a communal approach to design and his commitment to sustainable materials, as well as modes of construction. Inspired by a curiosity for the particularities of any given locality and its social tapestry, he has gathered a diverse, agile team at his Berlin-based Kéré Architecture offices, to take on projects across four continents. Most prominently these include his design for the Burkina Faso National Assembly, the Léo Surgical Clinic & Health Centre (2014) the Lycée Schorge Secondary School (2016) and Xylem (2019), a gathering pavilion for the Tippet Rise Art Center.
Kéré received his architectural degree from the Technische Universität in Berlin (2004), having originally been trained as a carpenter both in Burkina Faso and Germany. The combination has equipped him with innovative construction techniques, a streamlined design aesthetic and a keen sense for the craftsmanship inherent in the creation of a building. He has developed a nuanced expertise of tackling complexity with understated elegance applied across scales and contexts.
His understanding of the power of education has seen him train construction workers in Burkina Faso as well as instruct a next generation of architects during past and current teaching engagements at universities including the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio, the TU München and Yale University.
The boundary pushing architectural practice championed by Kéré has attracted the attention of exhibition makers and curators, allowing him to oscillate between the realms of architecture and art. Commissions have included the Serpentine Pavilion (2017) - as the first architect of African descent to receive it, a visitors pavilion for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (2018), showcases at the Venice Biennale of Architecture (2016 & 2018) and various solo exhibitions including at the Museo ICO in Madrid (2018), the Architekturmuseum in Munich and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (both in 2016). His work has been selected for group exhibitions such as: AFRICA: Architecture, Culture and Identity, at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk (2015), Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010) and Sensing Spaces, at the Royal Academy, London (2014).
Thursday, August 25, 2022 6:30 PM
Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Lecture Hall at the Yale University Art Gallery