Skip navigation

The World's 100 Most Creative People In Business 2012

3 4

Diébédo Francis Kéré

Architect, Kéré Architecture

How To Tame The African Sun

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."

Timeline

  • 2004

    Graduates from the Berlin Technical University

  • 2004

    Wins the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for his primary school in Gando

  • 2005

    Founds Kéré Architecture

  • 2011

    Receives Marcus Prize from Marcus Corporation/University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

  • 2012

    Wins the Global Gold Holcim Award for his secondary school in Gando

Photo courtesy of Diébédo Francis Kéré

A version of this article appears in the June 2012 issue of Fast Company.