Diébédo Francis Kéré, architect from Burkina Faso, studied at the "Technische Universität Berlin". In his work, he focuses on education as the developing concept for his country, in which he has already built an essential infrastructure.
Climatic adaptation, low building costs and self-building are the focus of Kéré's drafts: "The community needs to be educated about how to monitor climatic circumstances and how to use local materials. Only people who take part in building processes can maintain and spread the word about these developments." *
While he was studying, he founded the association "Schulbausteine für Gando" to fund his first project, a primary school in his native village Gando. The building 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. The jury valued the great potential of the project helping the community to develop a healthy pride and hope and creating at the same time a solid base for its development. To Kéré, education is the foundation for every social, technical and economic development. Today, 900 children can attend school in Gando and many young men are now able to find qualified paid work far beyond the region due to on-site training. Meanwhile the primary school is completed through teachers housing, a school extension and a library and has been awarded with numerous important awards such as the BSI Swiss Architectural Award in June 2010, the Marcus Prize in June 2011 and the Regional Holcim Award for Africa and Middle East in September 2011.
Kéré's research is contributed to the development of strategies for architecture with local character. As an architect he defines himself as "a bridge between cultures, between the technically and economically developed countries of "the north" and the less developed African countries (the south)"