14.03.2021 15:30

Francis Kéré receives the 2022 Pritzker Prize

The architect is currently visiting professor at the Politecnico

The Pritzker Architecture Prize 2022 has been awarded to Diébédo Francis Kéré, currently visiting professor at the School of Architecture Urban Planning Construction Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano, where he teaches the course ‘Advanced Architectural Design Studio’.

Originally from Gando, Burkina Faso, Kéré graduated in architecture in Germany from the Technische Universität Berlin. However, it was in his home village that Kéré produced his first architectural project: the Primary School, built for and with the local community, combining innovative use of local materials and modern construction engineering.

This model was later duplicated for the construction of numerous other school buildings and health facilities in various African countries (Burkina Faso, Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda and others). Francis Kéré, states the jury's motivation, "has developed a sensitive, bottom-up approach in its embrace of community participation.  At the same time, he has no problem incorporating the best possible type of top-down process in his devotion to advanced architectural solutions. His simultaneously local and global perspective goes well beyond aesthetics and good intentions, allowing him to integrate the traditional with the contemporary".

Andrea Campioli, dean of the School of Architecture Urban Planning Construction Engineering, says:

Francis Kéré's intense design experience takes us back to the founding values of architecture, first and foremost the strength to be a lever for social emancipation and the ability to establish deep relationships with the history of places and their material culture.
Kéré's work constitutes an important point of reference for our students: work of great vision and at the same time of extraordinary concreteness; work capable of interpreting the available resources with originality but without ever losing sight of the needs and expectations of the people who live there.

Kéré's projects also include temporary and permanent structures in Denmark, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Great Britain and the United States; he was also commissioned to design the parliaments of Burkina Faso and Benin.

Francis Kéré was among the star guests of two editions of the Milano Arch Week. You can listen to his 2016 speech here:


Photos © Francis Kéré