• Diébédo Francis Kéré: Architecture is a Wake-Up Call

Diébédo Francis Kéré was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner.
Camera: Klaus Elmer
Editing by Kamilla Bruus
Produced by Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2014.
Supported by Nordea Fonden.


"Architecture is much more than art. And it is by far more than just building buildings". Meet award-winning architect Diébédo Francis Kéré from Burkina Faso in this interview about his architectural philosophy. Architecture, Kéré explains, is basically a social process - especially in the poorer and less developed regions of the world. It is about integrating the people, you build for, making them feel, it is their project. In this way, they identify with the building and are proud of it. 

In his works, Kére chooses to work with local materials - wood and clay - although his buildings must have a modern articulation. The local community very often identify traditional materials with a premodern stage of development. Involving people means teaching them modern building skills, which they later on will need to maintain the building. Besides that, local materials are ideal in confronting the climatic challenges of the region: Clay keeps the heat out of the building and stabilizes the temperature inside, which is "better than artificial climatization", Kéré says. "If we learn to build with local materials, we have a future. Architecture can bring a lot to a local society like mine. Architecture makes people proud, simply proud. And that can generate a lot of energy."

  • Opera Village Laongo/ Kéré Architecture

  • Initiated by the German film and theatre director, actor and artist Christoph Schlingensief, the Opera Village is an arts education project operated by Festspielhaus Afrika. When Francis Kéré first heard the idea of an opera house for Africa, he thought that it was crazy until he met Christoph...


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