International breakthrough architect confirmed in UIA 2020 RIO

Gando Primary School / Erik-Jan Ouwerkerk

With all of the accent marks and the sonority of a great African, Diébédo Francis Kéré is a noble name of worldwide architecture confirmed in UIA 2020 RIO, the 27th World Congress of Architects, happening in July of next year in Brazil.

Born in Burkina Faso, in 1965, Kéré has become an agent of transformation in his continent by means of his visionary projects of architecture, that combine local methods of constructions, sustainability and community participation, aiming to provide better life conditions for people who live in poor places of Africa.

His work is globally recognized, having received awards such as the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, in 2004, and the Global Holcim Award of 2012. He graduated at the Technical University of Berlin and, since 2005, is responsible for the renowned Kéré Architecture and for the Kéré Foundation.

Divulgaçăo / UIA 2020 RIO

In UIA 2020 RIO, taking place from the 19th to the 23rd of July 2020, he will talk for a public of around 15 thousand people, including architects, urbanists, students, urban thinkers, public employees and other interested groups.

– It will be my first time in Rio. Brazil is a big country, one of the most important of the world, and faces a lot of challenges. We will discuss how it is possible to create new spaces on the territory, how to design houses and schools. Architecture has to be used as a support for the construction of better cities and countries – says the architect, who lives in Berlin.

Committed to important themes, Kéré, the first son of a poor family from Gando, a village with 3.000 inhabitants, has revolutionized his territory with projects of schools, villages, libraries and cultural centres. Outside of Africa, he has been standing out for initiatives such as the exposition “Racism. The invention of Human Races.”, promoted by the Deutsches Hygiene Museum in Dresden, Germany, and the project for the Serpentine Pavilion in 2017, in the United Kingdom.

He believes in the use of technology against housing deficit. In an interview for the Brazilian newspaper O Globo, Kéré said that this is an important way to reduce the cost of construction.

– Architecture is a service for humanity. It can be through a small house in Africa or a huge museum in Europe, what will always matter is the people – he declares.


Hundreds of architects, urbanists and other interested groups from the civil society have already guaranteed their presences at the event, which will turn Rio into the epicentre of the debate about the future of the cities around the world.

If you have not registered yet, go to the official website and enjoy the discount.

The Congress happens every three years and it is the first time taking place in Brazil. It will also celebrate Rio de Janeiro as the first city to win the title of World Capital of Architecture by UNESCO.

Two other cities in Latin America have already hosted the event on the last century. The first one was Buenos Aires, in 1969, and the second was Mexico City, in 1978. To become the host city for the next edition, Rio has competed against Paris and Melbourne. The edition of 2023 will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark.

With the theme “All the worlds. Just one world. Architecture 21” is promoted by the International Union of Architects (UIA) and is organized by the Institute of Architects of Brazil (IAB). It will reunite specialists and enthusiasts of fairer and more dynamic cities to talk about solutions between the 19th and the 23rd of July 2020. Before that, on July 17 and 18, Rio will also host the World Forum of Cities UNESCO-UIA, with mayors of previous host cities and political, entrepreneurial, cultural and social leaderships.

Burkina Faso National Assembly / Kéré Architecture
Gando Primary School Extension / Erik-Jan Ouwerkerk
Opera Village / Erik-Jan Ouwerkerk
Lycée Schorge / Kéré Architecture



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