francis kéré architecture: towards a museum of hope
francis kéré architecture: towards a museum of hope francis kéré architecture: towards a museum of hope
mar 17, 2011

francis kéré architecture: towards a museum of hope

‘grotto / chamber of witnesses’ of francis kéré’s design for the new exhibit at the international red cross and red crescent museum all images © kéré architecture / francis kéré




during the 2011 design indaba conference in cape town, berlin-based architect diébédo francis kéré gave a presentation that had the audience on their feet.  kéré shared with an attentive crowd the philosophy behind his practice and the importance of community and creating a sustainable architectural system just by looking and addressing local needs.


‘the community needs to be educated on how to monitor the climatic circumstances and to use local materials. only people how take part in the building process can maintain and spread the word about these architectural projects.’ – francis kéré

‘grotto’ in relation to the rest of the exhibition space




originally from burkina faso, kéré studied at the technische universität berlin, where he focused his education on developing a sustainable architectural infrastructure for his home country through the form of climatic adaptation, low building costs and self-building:while studying he formed the association ‘schulbausteine für gando eV’ with the assistance of his friends, as a means of funding his first project, a primary school in his home village of gando. completed in 2001, the project later won him an aga khan award for its concise and elegant architecture using basic constructive instruments. since then he has undertaken the construction of building more schools in burkina faso: teacher housing, gando, burkina faso (2004), high school in dano, burkina faso (2007) and school extention in gando, burkina faso (2008).

‘living room’




kéré is currently working on a number of projects abroad, including the ‘towards a museum of hope’ project, the upcoming transformation of the international red cross and red crescent museum (MICR) in geneva, which is a collaboration with brazilian architect and designer gringo cardia and japanese architect shigeru ban.


the combined planned design for this new permanent exhibit will include an introductory zone and three thematic areas, entitled: ‘defending human dignity’ (gringo cardia), ‘refusing fatality’ (shigeru ban) and ‘reconstructing the family link’, which kéré is responsible for designing.


‘throughout the past, mankind has always been willing to return to its roots and remain close to nature. that is still the case today this reconciliation with the environment allows human beings to look forward and move towards a sustainable future. the exhibition accordingly aims to reveal the various aspects of this topic by involving the visitor on different sensory levels.‘ – francis kéré

‘picture wall’




construction on the project is set to begin in june 2011 and is expected to take approximately one year to complete.


‘we are delighted to have engaged the interest of such esteemed designers from different continents, for our project.we had hoped for this diversity. at this early stage, we are exploring their ideas and concepts, but we are certain that these ideas will be transformed into attractive projects that will ensure the museum’s future success.’ – luc hafner, president of the museum’s foundation board.


as requested, the three designers will integrate contemporary works of art into their designs.

‘picture wall’ in relation to adjacent museum space

LED archive boxes

glass display cases



section A-A scale 1:100



section B-B scale 1:100



section C-C scale 1:100



scale D-D scale 1:100



section E-E scale 1:100



plan view



section plan



architect francis kéré portrait © designboom

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