The Architecture of Francis Kéré


I finally had the chance to check out the Creative Africa Exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art a view weeks ago. One of my favorite parts was an exhibition entitled: The Architecture of Francis Kéré: Building for Community. It focused on Diébédo Francis Kéré an award winning African architect known for his cross-cultural approach to design.

Kéré is based in Berlin but his projects are mostly concentrated in Burkina Faso West Africa. His work incorporates local materials and his work makes a strong connection between environmental and economic sustainability. One such project that was featured was the construction of a school in Gando which incorporates local materials found on site, like mud and trees. Local labor is very important to Kérés projects. His goal is to equip people with the tools and skills to construct the next buildings on there own.

The exhibition was designed using site-specific elements such as building materials and immersive projection elements to help visitors imagine the architecture. Study models, photographs, and video were also used in the exhibtion to document his work. 

Outside the gallery was an installation made of colorful parachute cords. The hanging chords were arranged from an overlaid grid pattern that came from same arrangement as the Philadelphia city grid designed by William Penn. The hanging chords were also meant to represent African shade trees.

Francis Kérés work is on the forefront of sustainable design. I'm glad I had the chance to experience his work.