Depidou Francis Kerry (57) has Pritzker– Received the Architecture Prize 2022. The architect from Burkina Faso is the first African to receive this award. The award is considered the highest honor in architecture. “Just because you’re rich doesn’t mean you have to waste materials. Not because you’re poor, you shouldn’t try to create quality,” Kerry says.
Francis Kerry was born in Gando, Burkina Faso, but has been living in Berlin, Germany for a long time. In recent years, he has built homes, schools, health facilities, and other public buildings, often in high-risk countries. He also designed and built buildings in Europe and the United States. “Everyone deserves quality, everyone deserves luxury and everyone deserves convenience. We are interconnected and our concerns about climate, democracy and scarcity are concerns for all of us,” says Kerry.
Kerry praised social justice and smart use of local materials. “Kéré is doing pioneering work in architecture – sustainable for the Earth and its people – in countries of extreme scarcity. He is an architect and servant at the same time, improving the lives and experiences of countless citizens in a region of the world that is sometimes forgotten,” said the Pritzker Jury. “He knows, from the inside, that architecture is not about the thing, but about the goal. This is not the product, but the process that is important.”
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Community spirit and narrative quality
In 2001, the architect built an elementary school in his native village of Gando. This project laid the foundation for Kerry’s ideology – building a resource with and for society to meet basic needs and redress social inequalities. Participate in international fundraising while creating unchanging opportunities for local residents, from design to professional apprenticeships. He used mainly local materials. “Just because you are rich doesn’t mean you have to waste materials. Not because you are poor you shouldn’t try to create quality,” Kerry says. As a result of the success of this project, the school’s student population increased from 120 to 700, and teachers’ housing was added in 2004, and he also built library in 2019.
“In a world in crisis, amid changing values and generations, reminds us of what has always been and will undoubtedly remain the cornerstone of architectural practice: the spirit of community and the quality of narrative, which he himself can tell with compassion and pride. In doing so, he presents a story in which architecture can become architecture is a source of lasting happiness and joy,” says the Pritzker Jury.
Other important works of Kéré include “Xylem at Tippet Rise Art Center” in Montana, USA, “Léo Doctors” Housing” in Burkina Faso, Africa and “National Park” in Mali, Africa. Kéré is the 51st Laureate of the Pritzker Prize for Architecture and is making history. As the first African to win the award.
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