Home proud: surveying the work of African architect Francis Kéré

Home proud: surveying the work of African architect Francis Kéré

A first survey of the work of Francis Kéré, titled Radically Simple, has been published by Hatje Cantz, tying in with an exhibition of his work at the Architekturmuseum at the Technical University of Munich. Recognised for his socially engaged architectural design, Kéré combines cultural and ecological factors to create buildings which are intelligent to their contexts.

The book curates an overview of his design work, presenting projects from temporary structures and exhibition design to the works he is most well-known for. These include his first project, an elementary school in Gando, Burkina Faso, which won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2004, and also his design for the Operndorf Afrika (Africa Opera Village Africa) with German theatre director Christoph Schlingensief, initiated in 2009.

The architect works with locally-sourced materials which are low-tech and sustainable

Currently based in Berlin – he studied at the city’s Technical University – Kéré was born in Burkino Faso, where he has completed numerous projects informed by his acute understanding of the cultural landscape, employing local materials and understanding of ecological requirements.

Committed to the communication of his design principles, Kéré has held exhibitions internationally, presenting sensitive installations in locations such as London, Milan, Chicago and Humlebæk, yet the Ayça Beygo-curated exhibition at the Architekturmuseum will be the largest of his works to date.

With contributions from Lesley Lokko, Kerstin Pinther and Peter Herrle, and new images by photographer and video artist Daniel Schwartz, the publication looks to illustrate the international scope of the architect’s designs and inspire a new generation of ethically-minded architects.

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