School Extension in Gando. Photo by Erik-Jan Ouwerkerk.

Coral Courts Lecture: Francis Kéré

April 6, 2011
6p Reception, 6:30p Lecture
Steinberg Auditorium

Diébédo Francis Kéré, an architect and educator from Burkina Faso, will deliver the Coral Courts Lecture as part of the Sam Fox School Public Lecture Series. He focuses on education as the developing concept for his country, and has already built an essential infrastructure for supporting his vision.

While enrolled at the School of Architecture at the Technical University of Berlin, Kéré founded the Schulbausteine für Gando association, whose main aims are to promote education, health, and development aid in his native village of Gando and to create buildings that meet the area’s climatic demands. His first project, the Primary School for Gando, has received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2004, the Zumtobel Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2007, and the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2009. The project also was among those featured in Small Scale, Big Change, on view at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from October 2010-January 2011.

Subsequent projects have included several other educational buildings in Burkina Faso, as well as international efforts such as a Museum for Earth Architecture in Mali and a permanent exhibition for the Red Cross Museum in Switzerland. Kéré’s work has been featured in numerous exhibitions, including the 2008 Venice Biennale and the 2009 International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam. Among his honors, he has received the BSI Swiss Architectural Award in 2010.

In addition to his practice, Kéré connects research and experience as a lecturer at the Technical University of Berlin, covering topics such as housing and urban development, strategies of climatically advantageous building, sustainable utilization of materials, integration of local labor force, and local construction techniques. His research has contributed to the impartial development of strategies for architecture with local character.

Coral Courts Lecture

The Coral Courts Lecture highlights outstanding architecture practitioners from across the United States and abroad. The lecture is named in honor of the Coral Courts Motel, a now-demolished Streamlined Moderne motor court formerly located in St. Louis along Route 66. Past Coral Courts Lecturers have included Ricardo Legoretta, Rafael Vitoly, Marlon Blackwell, Rick Joy, Billie Tsien, Julie Snow, Carlos Jimenez, Wendell Burnette, J. Meejin Yoon, and Jeanne Gang.