Friday 12th October 2012, 17:15
Forum of the Rolex Learning Center, EPFL
Global Holcim Award Gold 2012 ceremony
Secondary school with passive ventilation system, Gando, Burkina Faso
“A project about architecture, people, and dealing with two different cultures”
This school project in one of the world’s poorest countries aims to provide further education to the inhabitants of a rural area. Gando, with a population of 3000, has no secondary education facilities and lies on the southern plains of Burkina Faso, some 200km from the capital Ouagadougou. Diverse design aspects of the project consider the challenging weather conditions where summer temperatures peak at 40°C. The natural ventilation cooling effect is enhanced by routing air through underground tubes, planting vegetation, and the use of double-skin roofs and façades to achieve a 5°C thermal reduction. The enhanced indoor comfort and conditions are far more conducive to education.
Energy consumption during construction and operation is reduced to a minimum using only the sun and wind. The collection of scarce rainwater is integrated into the planting concept and is used to irrigate newly-planted trees that are intended to help consolidate previously exploited vegetation. Completed projects including an elementary school and library contributed to the evolving research and development process concerning design concepts, technologies and materials.
At the age of 18, Francis Kéré moved from Burkina Faso to Berlin to study architecture. Today he commutes between two worlds: his original home in Africa and his new home in Europe.
As a bridge builder between the two cultures, he has spent more than a decade cultivating an
awareness of the value of education in his native village where, in collaboration with the local
community, he has been the driving force behind a school complex.
Diébédo Francis Kéré
Francis Kéré is Principal of Kéré Architecture, based in Berlin, Germany.
The practice Kéré Architecture has accomplished projects of different types, but has become known for its focus on enabling community supported construction of sustainable and appropriate education facilities as an effective social development concept. Since 2001 his built works include numerous education buildings in Burkina Faso, Togo, and Mali, as well as design proposals in Yemen and India. Other architectural projects include civic, cultural, and commercial projects, including the current exhibition design for the Red Cross museum in Geneva, Switzerland.
He studied architecture including modules in civil engineering at the Technische Universität Berlin (TU-Berlin).
In 2011 he was guest professor at School of Architecture and Urban Planning (SARUP) at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM), USA, and he has recently been appointed Design Critic in Urban Planning and Design at Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). In 2013 he will be a Guest Professor at the Academy of Architecture of Mendrisio, Università della Svizzera italiana Switzerland.
Francis Kéré received the BSI Swiss Architectural Award in 2010, and the Marcus Prize in 2011. His first school in Gando, Burkina Faso, was completed in 2001 and was recognized with the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The following project in Gando, the Secondary school with passive ventilation system, received the Holcim Awards Gold 2011 for Africa Middle East, and the Global Holcim Awards Gold 2012.