“African architecture should stop copying the West, engage the real needs of the people and regard the environment” Francis 

“Africans need to develop their own identity in architecture” Francis Kéré.( )

Diébédo Francis Kéré, born 1965 in Gando, is an architect from Burkina Faso who studied in Germany.

The focus of Kéré’s drafts is climatic adaptation, low building costs and self building: “The community needs to be educated on how to monitor the climatic circumstances and to use local materials. Only people who take part in the building process can maintain and spread the word about these architectural projects.”( )

Since 2001 his projects included the erection of numerous schools in Burkina Faso. He devised a building technique based on traditional methods of loam construction, extended with modern structural principles. His buildings rely principally on local materials and a construction process based on manual labor. He devises the buildings in a way that they can cope with heat and rain.( )

As an architect he defines himself as “a bridge between cultures, between the technically and economically developed countries of ‘the north’ and the less developed African countries (the south)”.(

While he was studying, In September 1998 he founded the association “Schulbausteine für Gando eV” for the funding of his first project, a primary school in his home village. The building was finished in 2001 and received the Aga Khan Award for its exemplarity as well as its concise and elegant architecture using basic, constructive instruments. This was the first of many awards, others including the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2009 and the BSI Swiss Architectural Award in 2010. His work has also been featured in numerous publications including Design Like You Give a Damn (2006), The Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century World Architecture (2001) and 10x10/3 – 100 Architects 10 Critics (2009).( )

Besides his occupation as a self-employed planner Francis Kéré has been working as a lecturer at the “Technische Universität Berlin”, “Habitat Unit”, since 2004. His main subjects are housing and urban development, strategies of climatically advantageous building, sustainable utilization of materials, integration of local labor force, and local construction techniques.( )


  1. I like the philosophy of this man...I Think we (young architects of tomorrow)should try do come out with a real african architecture which matches with our environment and economical status...

  2. this man is 100% right! why can't we promote the true architecture for RWANDA? Let's do it guys, the government spent alot of money on us, so let's produce a good feedback!!!

  3. this man think like a man of thought and act like a man of action...

  4. Work isn't to make money; you work to justify life! this man is super

  5. Dear students, I am happy to note your active participation in this blog. it gives me reason to smile, satisfied that you are beginning to model out of yourselves, the best architects we want you to be!
    I promise you guys that we will bring Arch Kere to FAED sometimes this or next year for a public lecture. listening to him is real inspirational! Sierra and I had chance to listen to him in Sept 2010 during the biennale of venice. Thanks. Josephine