The 2020 AIA/RIBA Keynote Lecture features Francis Kéré. An internationally acclaimed architect, he garnered critical praise from the beginning of his architectural career when he was awarded the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture (2004) for his first ever building - a primary school he designed, raised the funds for and realised in collaboration with the residents of his native Gando, Burkina Faso.
Kéré has gone on to become one of the most distinguished contemporary architects thanks to his pioneering of a communal approach to design and his commitment to sustainable materials, as well as modes of construction. Inspired by a curiosity for the particularities of any given locality and its social tapestry, he has gathered a diverse, agile team at his Berlin-based Kéré Architecture offices, to take on projects across four continents. Most prominently these include his design for the Burkina Faso National Assembly, the Léo Surgical Clinic & Health Centre (2014), the Lycée Schorge Secondary School (2016), the Serpentine Pavilion (2017) and Xylem (2019), a gathering pavilion for the Tippet Rise Art Center.
Underpinning his architectural practice are his past and current teaching engagements at TU München, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio, and Yale University as well as his participation in solo and group exhibitions including at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, the Museo ICO in Madrid, the Architekturmuseum in Munich, the MoMA in New York, the Royal Academy in London and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Founded in 2005, his firm has a dual focus on design excellence and social commitment. It achieves this in close collaboration with the Kéré Foundation e.V. active in Gando, Burkina Faso.
Known for restrained elegance of structure, pioneering use of material and an inclination towards building in regions unchartered by much of contemporary architecture, the studio has been the recipient of numerous awards. Kéré Architecture’s portfolio spans a wide spectrum of projects from civic infrastructure to temporary installations, from concept to execution and across diverse geographies.
This lecture is jointly hosted by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The AIA and RIBA have a long history of collaboration that dates from the founding of their institutes in 1857 and 1834 respectively.
This lecture is made possible in large part through the sponsorship of Iris Ceramica Group. Please consider them for your next project.