Kéré Architecture Kéré Architecture

Diébédo Francis Kéré

“People are the basis of every piece of work”

Born in Gando, a small village in Burkina Faso, Diébédo Francis Kéré was the first son of the headman and thus the only child allowed to attend school. After graduating he received a scholarship for further education as supervisor in the context of development aid in Germany. Following the apprenticeship, Kéré studied architecture at the Technische Universität Berlin and founded his office Kéré Architecture and the nonprofit association Schulbausteine für Gando .

After University, he went back to his home country to reinvest his knowledge in his people. Kéré sets the main focus of his work on the usage and development of local materials and techniques, the adaptation of new technology in a simple way and the potential of the local community. Today, Diébédo Francis Kéré is an expert in preserving and developing traditional clay technologies and architecture heritage.

His first building, the Primary school in Gando was finished in 2001 and received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for its exemplarity as well as its concise and elegant architecture using basic, constructive instruments. The school is the result of a vision, initially verbalized by the architect and realised by the community. Meanwhile the "Primary school Gando" is completed through teachers housing, a library and a school extension. A secondary school and a women association center are currently under construction. Kéré's work in Gando has been awarded with numerous important awards such as the Global Award, the BSI Swiss Architectural Award , the Marcus Prize and most recently the Global Holcim Award Gold 2012.

Kéré continues his work, promoting sustainable and community driven architecture, and the concept of development through architecture around the world. After being lecturing at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in summer 2012 Kéré began a professorship at Harvard in October 2012. Furthermore he has given presentations at multiple conferences and exhibitions worldwide. Since beginning of 2013 he teaches at the Accademia di Architettura in Mendrisio. On top of that he still finds time to go back to his community in Gando, and to take his projects forwards. 


Dipl. Ing. Architecture
Chairman of Kéré Architecture
Chairman of Schulbausteine für Gando e.V.


Kéré Architecture is a small firm based in Berlin, Germany, with an affiliate in Burkina Faso to survey the construction sites in Africa. Founded in 2005, Kéré Architecture is a team of eight people coming from all over the world. The office philosophy is building with the smallest energy footprint and reaching the upmost benefit for its user. Kéré Architecture is seeking to create economic and ecological building solutions for local situations in a global context.

Current staff: Ines Bergdolt, Claudia Buhmann, Raquel Font, Pedro Montero Gosalbez, Jamie Keats, Dominique Mayer, Julia Philips, Lukas Veltrusky (visualizations)



Kéré Architecture
Arndtstraße 34
10965 Berlin

Telephone: +49 30 78952391
Fax: +49 30 78952398

Picture credits

Iwan Baan (Projects: National Park of Mali, Bamako, Mali / Centre de L'architecture en terre, Mopti, Mali)

Erik-Jan Ouwerkerk (Projects: Primary School Gando, Burkina Faso / Teachers housing Gando, Burkina Faso / School extension Gando, Burkina Faso / Secondary School Dano, Burkina Faso)

Enrico Cano (Projects: Primary School Gando, Burkina Faso / School extension Gando, Burkina Faso / Secondary School Dano, Burkina Faso)

Siméon Duchoud /Aga Khan Trust for Culture (Projects: Primary School Gando, Burkina Faso)

Andreas Schwaiger / Holcim Foundation: Awards

Alain Germond (Project: The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, Geneva, Switzerland)

Benedict Johnson, James Harris (Project: Sensing Spaces, Royal Academy of Arts, London)



Value Added Tax Identification Number (USt-IdNr.): DE244195531

Registration: Architektenkammer Berlin, 2005 September 23, Nr. 11817, Freischaffender Architekt

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