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The 2022 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate: Diébédo Francis Kéré - International Award Of Honor

The 2022 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate: Diébédo Francis Kéré - International Award Of Honor


Diébédo Francis Kéré, photo courtesy of Lars Borges

Announced by Tom Pritzker, Diébédo Francis Kéré, architect, educator, and social activist has been selected as the 2022 Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize - an award that is regarded internationally as architecture’s highest honor.

From the words of Diébédo Francis Kéré on winning the award:

“I am hoping to change the paradigm, push people to dream and undergo risk. It is not because you are rich that you should waste material. It is not because you are poor that you should not try to create quality. Everyone deserves quality, everyone deserves luxury, and everyone deserves comfort. We are interlinked and concerns in climate, democracy and scarcity are concerns for us all.”

Xylem, photo courtesy of Iwan Baan

Francis Kéré (b. Diébédo Francis Kéré, 1965) was born in Gando, Burkina Faso - one of the world’s least educated and most impoverished nations, a land void of clean drinking water, electricity and infrastructure, let alone architecture. Kéré is a dual citizen of Burkina Faso and Germany and spends his time professionally and personally equally in both countries.


Léo Doctors' Housing, photo courtesy of Jaime Herraiz

Based in Berlin, Germany, the architect known as Francis Kéré empowers and transforms communities through the process of architecture. Through his commitment to social justice and engagement, and intelligent use of local materials to connect and respond to the natural climate, he works in marginalized countries laden with constraints and adversity, where architecture and infrastructure are absent. Building contemporary school institutions, health facilities, professional housing, civic buildings, and public spaces, oftentimes in lands where resources are fragile and fellowship is vital, the expression of his works exceeds the value of a building itself.


Serbalé Ke, photo courtesy of Iwan Baan

“I grew up in a community where there was no kindergarten, but where the community was your family. Everyone took care of you and the entire village was your playground. My days were filled with securing food and water, but also simply being together, talking together, building houses together. I remember the room where my grandmother would sit and tell stories with a little light, while we would huddle close to each other and her voice inside the room enclosed us, summoning us to come closer and form a safe place. This was my first sense of architecture.” - Diébédo Francis Kéré.


National Park of Mali, photo courtesy of Iwan Baan

Diébédo Francis Kéré is the 51st Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize announced on March 15, 2022.

From the words of Tom Pritzker, the chairman of The Hyatt Foundation (the award sponsors):

Francis Kéré is pioneering architecture - sustainable to the earth and its inhabitants – in lands of extreme scarcity. He is equally architect and servant, improving upon the lives and experiences of countless citizens in a region of the world that is at times forgotten. Through buildings that demonstrate beauty, modesty, boldness and invention, and by the integrity of his architecture and geste, Kéré gracefully upholds the mission of this Prize.”

Serpentine Pavillion, photo courtesy of Iwan Baan

The 2022 Jury Citation states, in part, “He knows, from within, that architecture is not about the object but the objective; not the product, but the process. Francis Kéré’s entire body of work shows us the power of materiality rooted in place. His buildings, for and with communities, are directly of those communities – in their making, their materials, their programs, and their unique characters.”


Gando Teachers' Housing, photo courtesy of Erik Janouwerkerk

The Citation continues, “In a world in crisis, amidst changing values and generations, he reminds us of what has been, and will undoubtably continue to be a cornerstone of architectural practice: a sense of community and narrative quality, which he himself is so able to recount with compassion and pride. In this, he provides a narrative in which architecture can become a source of continued and lasting happiness and joy.”


Zoí Pavillion, photo courtesy of Andrea Maretto

Pritzker Prize Laureate: Diébédo Francis Kéré

Date: March 15, 2022

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Ceremony Location: The Marshall Building, London, United Kingdom

Award Sponsor: Hyatt Foundation


Source: The Pritzker Architecture Prize, Kéré Architecture