Diébédo Francis Okéré says school that launched his career is “not a traditional African constructing” – Dezeen
On this unique movie produced by Dezeen, Serpentine Pavilion architect Diébédo Francis Kéré reveals how constructing a school for his dwelling village in Burkina Faso was the place to begin for his career.
Kéré was born in a village named Gando, a village on the east aspect of the African nation. Whereas finding out to turn into an architect in Germany, again in 2001, he launched into a constructing mission for the place the place he grew up.
"In my tradition everybody has to place his path to push the group ahead, so I began to construct a school," he explains within the movie.
Kéré was the primary son of the top of the village, who allowed him to attend school as a little one – though this was very uncommon. By constructing Gando Main School, Kéré made it attainable for any little one within the village to obtain an training.
It was his first ever structure mission, and set a precedent for a fashion of structure that combines traditional constructing strategies with trendy engineering strategies.
"I did a trendy constructing that is not westernised, and never a traditional African constructing," he explains.
He says his intention was "to create a constructing that responded the very best to the necessity of the local weather and the necessity of the individuals, utilizing essentially the most accessible materials".
Kéré spoke to Dezeen following of the launch of his Serpentine Pavilion in London – an oval-formed construction with a slatted timber roof, designed to signify the tree that was a assembly place for Gando residents.
Whereas that constructing is primarily shaped of wooden, Gando Main School is largely constructed from clay, as this materials is low cost and available in Burkina Faso.
Kéré experimented with a clay and cement hybrid that was sturdy sufficient to face up to the excessive temperatures of the semi-arid surroundings.
"We tried to enhance the standard of clay, including some cement to make it engaging, to make it progressive," he says.
Burkina Faso sees heavy rainfall through the moist season, so historically buildings in characteristic corrugated tin roofs that overhang to maintain the water out. Nevertheless, within the dry season, the metallic makes the interiors intolerably scorching.
Through the use of clay bricks, Kéré was in a position to keep away from this, to maintain the within of the school cool. A ceiling of perforated bricks helps naturally ventilate the constructing, whereas the suspended roof directs the rain away.
"[We created] a properly ventilated construction, which is working with none synthetic or mechanic local weather management," he says.
Having drawn up the plans, Kéré labored carefully with the villagers to assist with the development. He additionally arrange the Kéré Basis to assist fund building.
"Within the village nobody might construct. What I needed to do was prepare the individuals to be a part of the constructing course of," the architect explains.
"Constructing with the labour of the group, I might do one thing large with much less monetary means, which is essential for a mission similar to this."
The usage of regionally sourced supplies and easy applied sciences helped to maintain the prices down. As a consequence, Kéré has since developed on a variety of extensions to the school, permitting it to extend its capability.
"It was a large success," says Kéré. "We constructed a school on this time for 200 youngsters. However quickly after, extra youngsters needed to attend training so we needed to construct an extension, and we additionally needed to construct housing for the lecturers."
Because the mission grew, so to did Kéré's burgeoning popularity.
"One factor makes one other factor occur, so we began to construct a lot within the village. Then, individuals began to find my work. Folks began to ask me to do the identical for them," he provides.
In 2004, the first school was awarded the Aga Khan Award for Architecture – an award that recognises structure with a social accountability.
Kéré went on to discovered his Berlin-based mostly agency Kéré Structure, which takes on tasks throughout Africa and Europe, starting from a Camper retail space at the Vitra Campus to Burkina Faso's new National Assembly building.
"At present in 2017, 16 years after constructing the primary school, I've a staff of perhaps 200 to 300 builders, welders, carpenters, bricklayers, a lot of individuals engaged on completely different websites in Burkina Faso," he says. "This is unbelievable."
Images by Erik-Jan Ouwerkerk.