Francis Kéré: 2021 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medalist in Architecture

This Zoom event has a capacity of 1000 participants. Register via the link at right/below. Additionally, a live stream link will be shared a few days prior to the event.

The Thomas Jefferson Medalist in Architecture Public Talk has always been a memorable occasion that brings our community together. We invite all our students, faculty, staff, alumni, admitted students, colleagues and the larger community to join us for this virtual event in celebration of Francis Kéré's distinguished work.

Acclaimed Burkinabé architect Francis Kéré, known for his pioneering communal approach to design and commitment to sustainability, has been named the 2021 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medalist in Architecture.

Kéré received his architectural degree from the Technische Universität in Berlin in 2004, having originally been trained as a carpenter both in his native country of Burkina Faso and in Germany. While still an architecture student he set up the association Schulbausteine für Gando e.V, later named Kéré Foundation e.V., which loosely translates to "School Building Blocks for Gando" to fund the construction of a primary school for his hometown.

He went on to complete his studies and build the Gando Primary School as his diploma project in 2004, the same year he also founded his own architectural firm Kéré Architecture. His first-ever building was awarded the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture, recognized not only for its innovative construction techniques and expressive care in craftsmanship, but also for being built cooperatively by the Gando community.

Over the course of nearly two decades, Kéré has gone on to become one of the world’s most distinguished contemporary architects, celebrated for his pioneering 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 and his diverse team at Kéré Architecture have completed renowned projects across four continents. Most prominently these include his design for the Burkina Faso National Assembly in Ouagadougou; the Léo Surgical Clinic & Health Centre (2014) in Léo, Burkina Faso; IT University in Burkina Faso; the Lycée Schorge Secondary School (2016) in Koudougou, Burkina Faso; the Serpentine Pavilion (2017) in London; and Xylem (2019), a gathering pavilion for the Tippet Rise Art Center in Fishtail, Montana.

Lycée Schorge (2016). Kéré Architecture. Koudougou, Burkina Faso. Photo by Iwan Baan
12 April 2021, 17:00
Online Event
University of Virginia School of Architecture
UVA event page