Diébédo Francis Kéré (b.1965, in Gando, Burkina Faso, west Africa) trained at the Technical University of Berlin in Germany, started his Berlin based practice, Kéré Architecture, in 2005. Kéré Architecture has been recognised nationally and internationally with awards, including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (2004) for his first building, a primary school in Gando, Burkina Faso; LOCUS Global Award for Sustainable Architecture (2009); Global Holcim Award Gold (2011 and 2012); Green Planet Architects Award (2013); Schelling Architecture Foundation Award (2014); and the Kenneth Hudson Award –European Museum of the Year (2015).
Projects undertaken by Francis Kéré span countries, including Burkina Faso,Mali, China, Mozambique, Kenya, Togo, Sudan, Germany and Switzerland. He has taught internationally, including the Technical University of Berlin, and he has held professorships at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and Accademia di Architettura di Mendriso in Switzerland.
Kéré’s work has recently been the subject of solo exhibitions: Radically Simple at the Architecture Museum, Munich (2016) and The Architecture of Francis Kéré: Building for Community, Philadelphia Museum of Art (2016). His work has also been selected for group exhibitions: Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010) and Sensing Spaces, Royal Academy, London (2014).
Among his main works are the Primary School (2001) and the Library (under construction) of Gando, Burkina Faso; the Health and Social Promotion Center (2014) and the Opera Village (under construction), both in Laongo, Burkina Faso; the Satellite of the Volksbühne Theater at the Tempelhof Airport, in Berlin (temporary installation, 2016); or the Pavilion for the Serpentine Gallery of the year 2017.
Member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and of the Royal Academy of Doctors, he is an International Fellow of the RIBA, and has been Cullinan Professor at Rice University, Franke Fellow at Yale University, a visiting scholar at the Getty Center of Los Angeles, a visiting critic at Princeton, Harvard and the Berlage Institute, and has given lecture series at the Universidad Menéndez Pelayo and the Fundación March.
He has also chaired the international architecture congresses ‘More for Less’ (2010), ‘The Common’ (2012) and ‘Necessary Architecture’ (2014). President of the jury in the 9th Venice Architecture Biennale, juror of the Mies van der Rohe Award and of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, he has curated the exhibitions El espacio privado, Extreme Eurasia (in Tokyo and in Madrid), Bucky Fuller & Spaceship Earth and Jean Prouvé: Industrial Beauty (these last two with Norman Foster), as well as Spain mon amour (in the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale and in Madrid), and The Architect is Present.
He has been on the jury of several international competitions in Europe, America and Asia, including those of the National Library of Mexico, the National Art Museum of China, the National Library of Israel and the Noble Qur’an Oasis in Madinah. Among his books are La Quimera Moderna, Fire and Memory, Spain Builds (with New York’s MoMA in its English version, and presented in its Chinese version with symposiums in Shanghai and Beijing) and Atlas, Architectures of the 21st Century, a series of four volumes.