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Ghana to host 2012 Global Holcim Award winner

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Ghana flagsGhana is to host Diébédo Francis Kéré, the 2012 Global Holcim Award Gold winner on December 21, 2012 to lecture on: “Usage of indigenous materials to create contemporary eco-friendly, community based architecture”.

Mr Francis Kéré is a Burkinabe born, Berlin-based architect, who has distinguished himself as an award-winning practitioner.

The Holcim Award is an international competition that recognizes innovative projects and future-oriented concepts on regional and global levels.

Mr Joe Addo, Chairman of ArchiAfrika, organisers of the “eco-friendly” lecture spoke to the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra on Monday.

He explained that the award winner would use the platform to demonstrate how to stretch conventional notions about sustainable building and also balance environmental, social and economic performance.

Mr Addo said the Holcim Awards was opened to architects, planners, engineers, project owners, builders and construction firms that showcased sustainable responses to technological, environmental, socioeconomic and cultural issues affective contemporary building and construction.

The ArchiAfrika Chairman said other speakers for the lecture included Mr. Adotei Brown, President of Ghana Institute of Architects whilst Mr Ebow Taylor, the versatile musician, would crown the event with special rendition.

ArchiAfrika Accra and Adventurers in the Diaspora Series (AiD) will be hosting the Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction team in Accra, from December 22.

ArchiAfrika now based in Accra seeks to broaden the discourse on Africa’s built environment to encompass the role of socio-cultural design inspired development.

“ArchiAfrika Accra wants to encourage design strategies developed within the continent to address the challenges of our future, while taking inspiration from our communities and engaging the next generation of professionals in this important dialogue,” Mr Addo said.

He said AiD engages in conversations, which explore the role of creativity and design in Ghana’s/Africa’s development agenda and highlight ‘shining lights’ working locally and abroad.

“We need to be part of our change, which often has neglected the creative souls amongst us,” he stated.

According to the programme line up aimed at supporting the efforts in expanding awareness of the Awards Program in Sub-Saharan Africa, ArchiAfrika would host an AiD event on December 21 featuring Francis Kéré.

The Holcim Awards is an international competition that seeks projects and visions in sustainable construction. Eligible for entry are projects in: buildings and civil engineering works; landscape, urban design and infrastructure; and materials, products and construction technologies.

There are two categories: The main category of the competition is open to architects, planners, engineers, and project owners that showcase sustainable responses to technological, environmental, socioeconomic and cultural issues affective contemporary building and construction; the second one for students.

Diébédo Francis Kéré received the Global Holcim Awards Gold 2012 from more than 6000 competition entries from all over the world for his secondary school in the village of Gando in Burkina Faso.

The project was praised for its approach to using traditional building materials and technologies that also placed great emphasis on actively involving the local population in the construction process.

The profile of Kere available to GNA indicates in 1990, a scholarship from the Carl Duisberg Society allowed him to complete secondary education in Germany in 1995, and to study architecture and civil engineering at the Technical University (TU-Berlin), graduating in 2004.

He founded SchulbausteinefürGando (Building blocks for Gando schools) in 1998 as a fundraising instrument for his final project.

Since 2001, his projects included the construction of numerous schools in Burkina Faso, Mali and Togo, as well as design proposals in India and Yemen.

In 2006 he was made Knight of the National Order of Merit in Burkina Faso.

His ideas were presented in the German Architecture Museum in Frankfurt and Expo 2008.

His Gando School won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2004, and the supplementary Secondary School, Gando won the Global Holcim Awards Gold in 2012.

Other architectural projects include civic, cultural, and commercial projects, including the current exhibition design for the Red Cross museum in Geneva, Switzerland.

Kéré also lectures at TU-Berlin on designing buildings that are ecologically and socially adequate to their environment, and has recently been appointed Design Critic in Urban Planning and Design at Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Source: GNA

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