018 Bricks for the Gando School

School buildings in Burkina Faso

Diébédo Francis Kéré

www.kere-architecture.com / www.fuergando.de

Seeing education as a key for sustainable development, the architect Diébédo Francis Kéré, who grew up in Burkina Faso, initiated ten years ago the project „Bricks for the Gando School“ (Schulbausteine für Gando) in order to build a school in his hometown Gando. Today 300 children learn reading and writing there. The architecture of the school is based on the local tradition of building with clay bricks. Through the modification of the material and application of new construction principles this traditionally rather temporarily orientated way of building has been further developed into a sustainable, climate-friendly and high-quality construction method. The project realised an aesthetically attractive and modern architecture. Based on the principle to put the rooms on a pedestal and to cover them with a large roof, that protects the clay walls, the rooms are designed as simple, rectangular modules. Inside the building lights alternate with shadows on the walls and cooling shade is generated. At the same time the sound transmission is reduced between the classrooms. Independent from Western technology, the villagers were able to produce the building bricks by themselves. Kéré’s school became a model for further projects in his homeland. The project won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2004.

Diébédo Francis Kéré is a young architect from Burkina Faso, West Africa, who studied in Berlin. He founded and directs „Bricks for Schools“ (Schulbausteine für Gando e.V.). With the help of his association he tries to provide the people of his homeland with innovative development projects and with better future prospects thereby. Consequently his motto is „help to self-help“.