DIÉBÉDO FRANCIS KÉRÉ remembers sweltering in a 104-degree classroom in his West African hometown of Gando, Burkina Faso. "You will agree with me that this is not a nice place to train people," he says. Kéré designed what's known as a passive ventilation system for a new high school in Gando, promoting a vacuum effect with perforated ceilings and lattice-supported tin roofs, thereby sucking out the hot air. The project has won global awards for its function and its stunning looks. "It's the same thing when someone wears a hat to protect himself from the sun, and the hat just happens to fit him well."
Graduates from the Berlin Technical University
Wins the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for his primary school in Gando
Founds Kéré Architecture
Receives Marcus Prize from Marcus Corporation/University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
Wins the Global Gold Holcim Award for his secondary school in Gando