World's Top Architecture Prize Awarded to Black Winner For First Time In History
Photo Credit: Burkina Faso National Assembly, Rendering Credit: Kéré Architecture

Photo Credit: Burkina Faso National Assembly, Rendering Credit: Kéré Architecture

World's Top Architecture Prize Awarded to Black Winner For First Time In History

Architecture , Black History , History , burkina faso , news
Simone Cherí
Simone Cherí Oct 26, 2022

The prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize honors the living legends among today’s architects. The annual international prize is widely considered “architecture’s Nobel” and “the profession’s highest honor”. This year, Burkina Faso native Diébédo Francis Kéré received the 2022 Laureate designation. The honor makes him the first Black architect to win the award since its inception in 1979.

Burkina Faso native, architect Diébédo Francis Kéré, awarded top architecture prize in the world
Diébédo Francis Kéré, Photo Credit: Lars Borges

The Pritzker Architecture Prize honors the work of living architects possessing talent, vision, and commitment to producing significant contributions to humanity and the art of architecture. Kéré’s magnificent work consists of awe-inspiring creations around the world, several of which are located in his homeland country.

2021 Laureate Jean-Philippe Vassal describes the work of Kéré with “some words that we don’t choose so often in architecture: happiness, kindness, agility.”

Benin National Assembly
Benin National Assembly, Rendering Credit:

A Message of Courage “To Keep Pushing”

Upon acceptance of the award, Kéré said:

“What the Pritzker Architecture Prize has awarded me is courage — courage to keep pushing and I want to encourage others, everyone, with the vision and mission to keep pushing as well. As long as I am capable, I will inject enthusiasm, joy and imagination into my architecture, into everything that you will commission of me, just like Africa has taught me to do,” remarks an emotional Francis Kéré, 51st Laureate of the Pritzker Prize, during the May 27th ceremony. He implores, “Dear friends, dear heroes, dear family, dear everyone — what are the challenges today? What is our big concern today, for everyone and for architects and for humans? What [is] so important to us? Climate crisis is real. Materials [are] limited…conflicts for resources will intensify everywhere around the world and population growth is imminent. No matter where we are from, this should concern us.”

Lycée Schorge Secondary School
Lycée Schorge Secondary School, Photo Credit: Francis Kéré

A special honor:

Kéré received the 2022 Pritzker Architecture Prize during a special ceremony held in London at the Great Hall of the Marshall Building, London School of Economics and Political Science.

As the 2022 winner, Kéré takes home a monetary prize of $100,000 and a bronze medallion.

Such a major win for Burkina Faso!

Information about Kéré’s Laureate status, including a documentary-style video, is available on the Pritzker Architecture Prize website.

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