The Yale School of Architecture has launched a new scholarship honoring the 2022 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate Francis Kéré to support African students studying architecture at the school.
Set to begin this fall, the new Francis Kéré Scholarship will be dedicated to support the education of young generation African architects while studying and shaping their career at Yale University.
“Yale community is “welcoming and vibrant”
“It is a tremendous honor to have this scholarship named after me” said Francis Kéré, the 2022 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate and principal and founder of Berlin-based practice Kéré Architecture.
“There are so many aspiring African architects and with a Yale education they will be able to excel.”
“I am the first African architect to be recognized with a Pritzker and, thanks to the Francis Kéré Scholarship, I hope there will be many more to come,” Kéré added.
As an active member of the Yale community, Kéré was a visiting professor and lecturer at the school. He taught advanced design studios as the William B. and Charlotte Shepherd Davenport Visiting Professor in Fall 2019 at Yale University.
More recently, he is the Louis I. Kahn Visiting Professor in Fall 2022.
Kéré said that “it is always a pleasure to teach at Yale”.
Describing the Yale community as “welcoming and vibrant”, “the students are talented, curious, and eager to become leaders in the profession,” he said.
“Deborah has created a community with the best architects in the world. Yale is truly the place to be,” Kéré continued.
“This scholarship will empower future generations of leaders”
“It is especially meaningful to be able to nurture new voices and new talents in the field of architecture,” said Deborah Berke, Dean and J.M. Hoppin Professor of Architecture.
“This gift ensures that anyone with the drive and the skills will be able to pursue the career they want.”
“Our goal here at the Yale School of Architecture is to educate architects, scholars, teachers, and leaders who will shape the future through design; this scholarship will empower future generations of leaders,” Berke added.
According to the Yale School of Architecture’s announcement, the new Francis Kéré Scholarship was estanblished thanks to a gift received from the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.
“The Francis Kéré Scholarship Fund will continue to grow with additional gifts in honor of the award-winning architect,” stated the school.
The gift also supports for Humanity: The Yale Campaign— an initiative aims to provide “access and affordability so that the brightest scholars from all backgrounds can study and thrive at Yale.”
Moreover, the gift also complements the Yale Africa Initiative, promoting “African scholarship, contemporary discourse on Africa, and research.”
Gando Primary School, Gando, Burkina Faso, 2001. Photo courtesy of Erik-Jan Ouwerkerk
Currently, 225 students are studying at the Yale School of Architecture, 10 of which from nine African countries are enrolled in the school’s graduate program this year.
The school noted that “students in Kéré’s advanced studios have tackled diverse issues in the built environment, including the use of sustainable materials to create one-to-one scale mockups of new building modules and construction methods.”
“Yale’s Advanced Design Studios include support for the class to travel for site visits related to the syllabus; in 2019, his students travelled with him to Ghana and in 2022, to the lake village of Ganvié in Benin.”
The Gando Primary School, built 2001 in Gando, Burkina Faso, makes up the first built work of Francis Kéré. While the foundations and ideology of Kéré’s work were laid with this school, it was his first job completed with low-cost, sustainable materials and with the help of local builders.
Kéré Architecture completed a community center that features butterfly roofs and low-rise structures in Kamwokya, one of the most underserved areas of Uganda’s capital Kampala. The firm’s Goethe Institute is under construction in Dakar, Senegal.
Top image: Francis Kere. Image © Astrid Eckert, Muenchen.
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Yale School of Architecture