For the first time Francis Kéré’s buildings and projects will be presented in a comprehensive exhibition. The exhibition at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich is also about the opera village near Ouagadougous in Burkina Faso, which Kéré designed for director Christoph Schlingensief.
Christoph Schlingensiefs Opernorf is situated on a high plateau, in the middle of the steppe-like landscape west of Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou. The director, who died in 2010, wanted to create a life-space and create a platform for intercultural exchange programs. Today, his wife Aino Laberenz leads the ambitious project.
As far as architecture is concerned, the two could rely on prominent support: Francis Kéré. The architect, who was born in the West African country and works in Berlin, has designed an airy system from different houses.
However, it is still under construction. To date, 23 buildings have been built, including office and residential buildings, a hospital ward and a school (picture).
The exhibition “Radically Simple” (until 26 March 2017) tells about this project and many others about Kéré in the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich.
It is the architect’s most extensive architectural exhibition, which has been honored, among other things, with an Aga Khan Award for its “exemplary combination of social and ecological approaches”. (May)
The exhibition “Francis Kéré- Radically Simple” will run until March 26, 2017.
More information vailable at http://www.architekturmuseum.de
New York Times Interview
In the following edited interview with the New York Time’s Art & Design correspondent Stephen Heyman, Francis Kéré explains the genesis of the collaboration with the late German theater and film director Christoph Schlingensief.
Q. Everyone can understand the value of building a school in a small village like Gando. But how do you balance essential humanitarian projects like that with something like the Opera Village, your collaboration with the late German theater and film director Christoph Schlingensief, which calls for a “world-class performance center” in a very remote area of the country? Is an opera what Burkina Faso, one of the world’s poorest countries, needs most?
A. When I first met Christoph, I was trying to build schools — little schools — and there wasn’t enough money even to do that. And he came to me and said, I want to build an opera in Africa. I thought the idea was just a provocation and that Christoph was this crazy dreamer. But he pushed me, and it was a very moving experience working with him. With time, I began to understand him, that he didn’t want to just replicate a Western-style opera house. He wanted to create a structure that could collect what the country had in terms of art, cinema, theater and promote it and exchange it with the outside world. And that’s what we’re building, but we also have artist housing, a primary school for more than 200 children that’s focused on art education and a medical center.
Discover, Explore and Learn more via:
- Africa News | Four African projects, including collapsed Makoko floating school up for international awards
- New York Times | Arts & Design | Spotlight | In Burkina Faso, Rebuilding With a Local Touch
- DW | Architect Francis Kéré to build huge mobile theater at Berlin’s Tempelhof airport ramp
Watch this heart warming account of his work … From Ted Talks
TED City 2.0
In his own words …
“When I was a kid going to school, I was coming back every holiday to Gando. By the end of every holidays, I had to say goodbye to the community, going from one compound to another one.
As a seven-year-old guy, I was impressed.
I just asked my mother one day, “Why do all these women love me so much?”
She just answered, “They are contributing to pay for your education hoping that you will be successful and one day come back and help improve the quality of life of the community.”
I hope now that I was able to make my community proud through this work, and I hope I was able to prove to you the power of community, and to show you that architecture can be inspiring for communities to shape their own future.”
Discover, Explore and learn more via:
- KÉRÉ ARCHITECTURE | Primary School | Gando | Burkina Faso
- KÉRÉ ARCHITECTURE | Awards
- AKDN | Aga Khan Trust For Culture | Aga Khan Award for Architecture | 2002-2004 Cycle | Primary School
Another inspiring story form Africa:
Makoko Floating School, shortlisted for the 13th Award cycle – 2016 AKAA
An alternative building system that provides space for education and cultural programmes in Africa’s coastal regions.
Some 80,000 people reside in Makoko, in a stilt settlement south of Lagos, built over water, served by only one English-speaking primary school on reclaimed land susceptible to flooding.
The Floating School is a prototype structure whose main aim is to generate an alternative building system and urban culture for the populations of Africa’s coastal regions.
Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali