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Diébédo Francis Kéré

Burkina Faso / Germany

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Diébédo Francis Kéré was born in Burkina Faso in 1965, and he is the first-born son of the head of the Gando village. After having been an apprentice as a carpenter, he moved to Berlin in 1990 thanks to a student grant. There he attended the secondary school and he graduated in Architecture from the Technische Universität. While studying he founded, in 1998, the Schulbausteine für Gando association, with the aim of combining the knowledge acquired in Europe with the traditional building techniques of Western Africa. In 2001 he completed the construction of his first school in Burkina Faso and opened, in Berlin, the Kéré Architecture firm.

He has been honorary Professor at the TU of Berlin until 2011, and a visiting professor at the Milwaukee University and at the IUAV University; he is a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and at the Academy of Architecture of Mendrisio – University of Italian Switzerland (USI). He won the Global Holcim Award Gold (2012), the Marcus Prize (2011), the BSI Swiss Architectural Award (2010) and the Aga Khan Award (2004). He was involved in several exhibitions, including Small Scale Big Change at the MoMA (2011), and the 12th International Architecture Exhibition – Venice Biennale (2010).

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