The most prestigious prize in architecture, Pritzker, was awarded on Tuesday March 15, 2022 to Diebedo Francis Kere. The 56-year-old thus becomes the first African architect to win this prize.
His agency is based in Berlin, but Diébédo Francis Kere has never forgotten the African continent, and especially his country of origin, Burkina Faso.
Diébédo Francis Kere has built in the four corners of the African continent, namely in Mali, Togo, Benin, Kenya, Sudan and Mozambique.
The son of Gando, in the Center-East of Burkina Faso, has come a long way since the time when he learned carpentry alongside French Jesuits.
From the age of 17, Diébédo Francis Kere, obtains a scholarship which allows him to study in Germany where he was trained in architecture.
There, he draws inspiration from pre-industrial techniques that he wishes to adapt to the African context.
In his native village, Gando, he built his first building in 2001: a school, built with the help of local people. Diébédo “builds educational institutions, health establishments, professional housing, civic buildings and public spaces, often in countries where resources are fragile and where fraternity is vital”, explains the Pritzker jury in a press release .
Among the architect’s current projects: the construction of the Beninese Assembly in Porto Novo, inspired by the palaver tree. Francis Kere also designed the future Burkinabè Parliament, the construction of which is on hold due to the country’s recent political upheavals.