ARCHITECTURE MONOGRAPHS

PUBLISHER
Hatje Cantz

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 9.5 x 11 in. / 208 pgs / 120 color.

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Catalog: FALL 2017 p. 60   

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ISBN 9783775742177 TRADE
List Price: $49.95 CDN $64.95

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The first monograph on the award-winning African architect Francis Kere
  • THE ARCHITECT: Born in the village of Gando in Burkina Faso, Francis Kere was the first child in his village to be sent to school. He is now is an award-winning architect based in Berlin, Germany. He has designed projects in Burkina Faso, Mali, Yemen and China, including the construction of a number of school buildings the village of his birth. He is known for combining traditional African building techniques and materials, most notably clay, with modern engineering methods. He is a tenured professor at Harvard University.
  • ABOUT THE BOOK: This is the first monograph on his work with focus on the schools and municipal buildings he has built in Burkina Faso.
  • EXHIBITIONS: Kere has been selected for the prestigious commission for the Serpentine Pavillion in 2017. The Architecture of Francis Kere: Building with Community was on view at Philadelphia Museum of Art May 14, 2016 - September 25, 2016; He designed lounge area for Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015; He is the architect for the headquarters of the Mama Sarah Obama Foundation in Kogelo, Kenya, an organization established by the grandmother of President Barack Obama.

  

HATJE CANTZ

Francis Kéré: Radically Simple

Edited with text by Andres Lepik, Ayça Beygo.

Featured image is reproduced from 'Francis Kéré: Radically Simple.'

Collaborating with residents, Burkina Faso architect Francis Kéré places social and historical needs at the heart of his design thinking

More than almost any other contemporary architect, Burkina Faso–born Diébédo Francis Kéré (born 1965) stands for the social and cultural possibilities of architecture: the innovative aspect of his work lies in his reliance on local residents. Kéré first made a name for himself in 2008 with his designs for Christoph Schlingensief’s Opera Village Africa, and since then he has received numerous international awards (including the 2004 Aga Khan Award for Architecture), primarily for his building projects in his native Burkina Faso. In 2015, Kéré designed a Legacy Campus in Kenya for the Mama Sarah Obama Foundation (MSOF), the foundation of the sole living grandparent of president Barack Obama, whose mission is to feed and educate children and impoverished families.

Kéré's structures combine the influence of his formal training at the Technische Universität Berlin with the traditional building methods of Burkina Faso. In working with the local populace, he places local social and historical needs at the center of his design concepts; residents are trained to become professionals and thus the constructors of their own future.

This first monograph on his extensive oeuvre provides unique insight into the creative work of this outstanding architect and renders visible the fact that architecture not only revolves around buildings, but always around people as well.


Featured image is reproduced from 'Francis Kéré: Radically Simple.'

Francis Kéré: Radically Simple

in stock  $49.95


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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 7/15/2017

Exceptional architecture in 'Francis Kéré: Radically Simple'

Exceptional architecture in 'Francis Kéré: Radically Simple'

Born in Burkina Faso and educated in Berlin, architect Francis Kéré became one of the world’s most respected architects practically overnight when he returned to Sub-Saharan Africa to build a primary school complex in Gando, his home village. Using locally available materials, he involved the community not just in the decision-making, but in the construction of the complex itself. Soon after, teacher housing, a school extension, a library, a kitchen, a sports field, a secondary school complex and a women’s community center were added. Today, the number of students in Gando is 844, where there were only 120 in 2001, when the school was completed. Featured here is a surgical clinic and health center built in Léo, Burkina Faso in 2014. continue to blog


FROM THE BOOK
Excerpt from the chapter, “Primary School Complex: Primary School” Tenkodogo is a city that is located 200 kilometers from the capital Ouagadougou and close to the Ghana and Togo border in Burkina Faso. The only asphalt road that crosses the city separates into a very narrow dirt road to the west. The huge baobab tree at this spot is the reference point for the newcomer who wishes to find Gando, the village where architect Francis Kéré comes from. Today, 3,000 inhabitants live in this place, still without electricity, indoor plumbing, or paved streets.

The bumpy dirt road goes along the plain reddish landscape of savanna for thirteen kilometers, among the baobabs, mango trees, and loosely set village compounds on the agricultural land, until it reaches a denser ensemble of trees. An unexpected sign in this secluded landscape, points out a specific place which is also clear from the floating roofs and walls hidden among the trees. There is no entrance here; the Primary School Complex of Gando pulls the visitors directly into the large courtyard.

The courtyard covered with mango trees is surrounded by four buildings that Kéré built separately within fifteen years: the primary school on the north, library and school extension on the west, and the teachers’ housing on the south. A pre-existing school building from 1984 standing in the middle of the courtyard is also actively used due to the high number of students.

The story of the primary school in Gando is closely connected to the life story of Francis Kéré. It goes back to the 1970s in Burkina Faso, when there were no schools in Gando. Suffering from poverty, insufcient infrastructure, and a lack of educational facilities, more than ninety percent of the population was illiterate. When it came time for early education, Kéré had to move to a relative’s home in order to attend school in Tenkodogo. The overcrowded classrooms designed as enclosed boxes and the difficulties of learning under the extreme climatic conditions of the country are vivid memories of the architect, who mentions it quite often. After getting a carpenter scholarship from Carl Duisberg Centrum and moving to Germany in 1985, then finishing high school and attending the Technical University of Berlin to become an architect, Kéré remained concerned about the problems of “his people” in Burkina Faso. When he was in his third term at the university, he was asked to help rebuild his village’s school, the only school and one that was built in 1984 and in danger of collapsing. The non-profit organization Schulbausteine für Gando was born in 1998 in order to be able to raise funds for the construction of a new school in Gando. After communicating with the villagers, integrating their input and ensuring local support, he realized the school in the village in 2001. The project won him the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2004 for the “elegant architectonic clarity, achieved with most humble means and materials, and for its transformative value.”

The Primary School in Gando represents a multiple of social, cultural, economic, and ecological aspects, not only as an architectural product, but also as an autonomous learning, training, and production process. This serves to help with the empowerment and development of the community, which were concerns introduced for the first time in Burkina Faso by a local architect. Using the human potential and pre-existing resources, getting the most out of them, he initiated a self-sufficient mechanism for the long run. Simple, but well-considered solutions offer options for future generations in a village with long-standing education issues.

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