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Francis Kéré, architecture and children | From the shooter to the city | Culture

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Francis Kéré (1965) returns to work for children. The Burkinabe, who in recent years has received the Pritzker Prize and the Imperiale of Japan, became the first child in his town, Gando, to walk to a school daily to be able to study. It was a privilege that he, as the son of the village chief, but as a child, at the end of the day, he experienced it as a punishment. It happened like this until he received a scholarship to study in Berlin. In the German city he became an architect. His professional story begins then, when he decides to raise money to return to Gando and build, in his town, a public school where children can, like him, study.

There are many occasions in which the designer has worked with girls and boys – designing schools, libraries and clinics in Burkina Faso. This time, however, he will do it in Germany.

The new nursery school, which will be named after the person who finances it, Ingerborg Pohl, will house the children of the employees of the Technical University of Munich. And it will be built in wood to improve the thermal and acoustic insulation of the property. That is why Kéré has partnered with experts in this type of construction Herman Kaufmann and ZT GmbH, Schwarzach, on this project.

Interior of the new centerKéré Architecture

Having become an expert exhibition designer himself, Kéré has designed the building and each of the interior spaces – 700 meters of classrooms, connections, ramps and play areas – to enhance the discovery, curiosity and imagination of the 60 children. that will house the center. The architect is also responsible for the exteriors: the viewing terrace that crowns the property and the green roof.

Wrapped in wooden slats, the five-story building has ramps that connect them, as well as stairs. And it will be completed at the end of 2025. The play of light and shadow, protection and incitement, offered by the slats, is a coexistence of opposites and, therefore, a metaphor for life. Also about child care, about the difficult balance between caring and risking. “When we build for children, we want them to be able to move freely between indoors and outdoors. For me, I would like them to be able to jump to the neighboring rooftops, share them, colonize them. That is why we have installed a panoramic garden on the roof,” said Francis Kéré. From there, 60 children, children of university workers, will contemplate a world bigger than their own. They will be protected. And they will see their curiosity encouraged.

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