The Pritzker Prize, architecture’s most prestigious award, has been awarded to 🇧🇫 Burkina Faso-born architect Diebedo Francis Kere – the first African to win the honour in its more than 40-year history.
At 56 years, Kere was hailed for his “pioneering” designs that are “sustainable to the Earth and its inhabitants – in lands of extreme scarcity,” Tom Pritzker, chairman of the Hyatt Foundation that sponsors the award, said via a statement.
The winner is a dual citizen of Burkina Faso and Germany.
He admitted that he was the “happiest man on this planet” to become the 51st recipient of the prestigious award.
“I have a feeling of an overwhelming honour but also a sense of responsibility,” he was quoted as telling AFP news agency in an interview.
Among the architect’s most famed works include the national assemblies of Burkina Faso and Benin which have already been commissioned.
While announcing the winner, the jury said the architect “raises fundamental questions of the meaning of permanence and durability of construction in a context of constant technological changes“.
Kéré was lauded by members of the jury for combining his architectural works “with the traditions, needs and customs of his country”.