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The Architecture of Francis Kéré: Building for Community
May 14, 2016 - September 25, 2016
Surgical Clinic and Health Center, Léo, Burkina Faso, 2014
Explore Kéré’s designs, including his Colorscape installation in the Skylit Atrium.
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The Architecture of Francis Kéré: Building for Community
May 14, 2016 - September 25, 2016
Explore architect Francis Kéré’s innovative designs in this site-specific installation.

This exhibition sheds light on Francis Kéré’s inventive approach to building. Born in Burkina Faso and based in Berlin, Kéré integrates traditional knowledge and craft skills into innovative and sustainable buildings worldwide. In many of his projects, he maximizes local materials and community participation to reduce costs and ecological impact. This exhibition offers a look at some of his award-winning designs within an colorful interactive environment.

Watch a time-lapse of Kéré’s Colorscape installation >>


Francis Kéré’s Colorscape

Selected Kéré Projects

Primary School, Gando, Burkina Faso, 2001

To ensure natural and sustainable cooling in an extremely hot region, the roof over the classrooms is elevated from the interior construction. A perforated clay ceiling allows for maximum ventilation.

Opera Village, Laongo, Burkina Faso, begun 2009

Originally conceived by artist Christoph Schlingensief as an art project, Opera Village was refocused to provide services for residents after a devastating flood. It now offers housing, a school, and a clinic.

Centre de Santé et de Promotion Sociale, Laongo, Burkina Faso, 2014

The scattered picture-frame windows of this health center take into consideration the varying vantage points of patients and visitors of all ages—whether standing, seated, or bedridden.

Francis Kéré
Francis Kéré

About Francis Kéré

For me, architecture is about process, experimentation, and teamwork.—Francis Kéré

As the first son of the head of Gando, his home village in Burkina Faso, Kéré was the only child allowed to attend school in a large city. He later attended the Technical University of Berlin, where he earned a diploma in architecture and engineering. While still a student, he established a charitable foundation, Bricks for Gando, and began to raise money to build a school there.

In Gando, Kéré combined traditional Burkinabe building techniques with modern engineering methods. In 2005 he founded his Berlin office and has since garnered acclaim for his work in Western Africa, Europe, and North America. He is the recipient of the 2014 Schelling Architecture Foundation Award, the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture, and the BSI Swiss Architectural Award, among others.


This exhibition is offered in conjunction with Creative Africa, a season devoted to African art and design. Share your experience #CreativeAfrica #colorscape @philamuseum.


Kathryn Bloom Hiesinger, The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700; and Colin Fanning, Curatorial Fellow in European Decorative Arts and Sculpture


Collab Gallery and the Skylit Atrium, first floor, Perelman Building