Burkina Faso might not be a country that often comes to mind when you think of modern architecture. However, a Burkinabé architect, Francis Kéré, has become a leading figure in socially-engaged building design. Whenever possible, Kéré aims to involve users in the planning and the construction process. He also tries to ensure the environmental and social sustainability of his buildings. Born in Burkina Faso, Kéré’s career took off in 2004 when he won the Aga Khan Award for a primary school he designed in his home village of Gando. He also participated in the conception and design of the Opera Village in Burkina Faso, and he finally gained an international audience with his design for the Mama Sarah Obama Legacy Campus in Kogelo, Kenya. Now based in Berlin, the architect has also won several commissions within Europe. A comprehensive overview of Kéré’s career and work is currently being presented at the Pinakotheken in Munich, Germany, at an exhibition entitled, “Radically Simple,” open until 26 February 2017.

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