Over a period of more than thirty years, arc en rêve in Bordeaux has organized events and lectures, inviting guest architects and theorists, specialists and non specialists to share their ideas and discuss issues relating to urban design, architecture and communal living. It has thus contributed to the emergence of specific expertise and the dissemination of contemporary architectural and urban culture, stepping well beyond local boundaries.

arc en rêve la revue is a publication and republication medium designed to provide gradual access to selected archives, most of them previously unpublished. The idea is to mine the various strata of arc en rêve’s thirty-year history, so that the data can be activated and used to address relevant topical issues.

Inscrivez-vous pour être tenu-e informé-e des actualités de la revue et de la parution des prochaines éditions.

Projet conduit par Marie Bruneau et Bertrand Genier dans le cadre d’un partenariat avec le ppLab

Design, développement : Julien Bidoret

© arc en rêve centre d’architecture, et les auteurs / tous droits réservés


à la mairie de Bordeaux,
qui soutient arc en rêve depuis sa création

au ministère de la Culture et de la Communication / Direction générale des patrimoines / DRAC Aquitaine,
et aussi
à la communauté urbaine de Bordeaux
à la région Aquitaine

à nos partenaires privés :

Fondation d’Entreprise Bouygues Immobilier

et aussi
Château Chasse-Spleen
Tollens Materis Peintures


Diébédo Francis Kéré, architect, Burkina Faso / Berlin

The outstanding work of architect Diébédo Francis Kéré has developed in his native village of Gando, Burkina Faso. The guiding principle of Diébédo Francis Kéré’s work is ‘helping to self-help’. Focusing on climatic conditions and the reality of local contexts, the projects that he undertakes at his office in Berlin become full-size projects in Africa, involving the local people. The building sites become places for experiment where African know how is used to build intelligently. Kéré adapts traditional construction methods and invents designs whose simplicity, generosity and elegance possess a powerful sense of modernity. “My goal is to bridge the gap between Africa and developed countries, where, after all, building sustainably turns out to be something we have in common”. If traditional African architecture is naturally sustainable, in the western sense of the word, usually understood in the limited range of recycled materials and saving energy, the added value of Kéré’s work is what gives its full meaning to sustainable development, the development of the whole man for all men.

Christophe Hutin invited Francis Kéré to visit arc en rêve on 29 September 2009, in the framework of the exhibition entitled Christophe Hutin, construire librement, l’enseignement de Soweto. arc en rêve devoted a solo exhibition to Francis Kéré, Bridging the Gap / jeter un pont, from 13 December 2012 to 28 April 2013. Within this framework, on 16 May 2013, in partnership with LAM – Les Afriques dans le monde, a one-day event was organised entitled La ville en Afrique, miroir du monde, during which there was a public discussion between Diébéto Francis Kéré and Michel Lussault, geographer and president of arc en rêve. The written and audio transcriptions of this discussion are available in this dossier.

Official website : Kéré architecture.

Born in Gando, a small village in Burkina Faso, Diébédo Francis Kéré was the first son of the headman and thus the only child allowed to attend school. After graduating he received a scholarship for further education as supervisor in the context of development aid in Germany. Following the apprenticeship, Kéré studied architecture at the Technische Universität Berlin and founded his office Kéré Architecture and the nonprofit association Schulbausteine für Gando.
After University, he went back to his home country to reinvest his knowledge in his people. Kéré sets the main focus of his work on the usage and development of local materials and techniques, the adaptation of new technology in a simple way and the potential of the local community. Today, Diébédo Francis Kéré is an expert in preserving and developing traditional clay technologies and architecture heritage.
His first building, the Primary school in Gando was finished in 2001 and received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for its exemplarity as well as its concise and elegant architecture using basic, constructive instruments. The school is the result of a vision, initially verbalized by the architect and realised by the community. Meanwhile the « Primary school Gando » is completed through teachers housing, a library and a school extension. A secondary school and a women association center are currently under construction. Kéré’s work in Gando has been awarded with numerous important awards such as the Global Award, the BSI Swiss Architectural Award, the Marcus Prize and most recently the Global Holcim Award Gold 2012.
Kéré continues his work, promoting sustainable and community driven architecture, and the concept of development through architecture around the world. After being lecturing at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in summer 2012 Kéré began a professorship at Harvard in October 2012. Furthermore he has given presentations at multiple conferences and exhibitions worldwide. Since beginning of 2013 he teaches at the Accademia di Architettura in Mendrisio. On top of that he still finds time to go back to his community in Gando, and to take his projects forwards.

Diébédo Francis Kéré

Bridging the Gap, jeter un pont / exhibition

arc en rêve  centre d’architecture presents an exhibition of the work of Diébédo Francis Kéré, from 13 December 2012 to 28 April 2013. Kéré’s unique designs have been unanimously praised by critics and have been awarded many major international awards, both for their architectural qualities and their social commitment in Burkina Faso.

Born in Burkina Faso in 1965, he graduated from the Berlin Technical University in 2004 and opened a design office in Berlin. Concerned with climate conditions and local contexts, his research in Berlin, at Harvard University, and at the Federal Polytechnic School in Lausanne is applied to full-size projects in Burkina Faso, where most of his buildings are located.

Diébédo Francis Kéré began building in Burkina Faso in 1999 when he was still a student, designing a primary school, then a secondary school, for his native village of Gando. In 2007 he designed a lycée in Dano, and in 2010 the Centre for Earth Architecture in Mali. He is currently working on the Opéra Village project, near Ouagadougou. For Diébédo Francis Kéré, each construction must bring technical innovation that affirms the building’s identity, and the act of building is as much an educational development tool as a way of fostering interactions and sharing expertise.With this is mind, Kéré adapts traditional construction techniques from his native land and creates designs whose simplicity, generosity and elegance express a strong sense of modernity.
Designed and supported by the architect, who is closely involved at every stage, the buildings are constructed by local people: the men, women and children of the village. The building sites become places for experiment where African expertise is used to build intelligently. “My goal is to bridge the gap between Africa and developed countries, where, in the end, building sustainably turns out to be something we have in common.”
Bridging the Gap - Jeter un pont presents eleven projects designed by Diébédo Francis Kéré. Issues relating to urban conditions in Africa will also be explored during a special event to be organized in 2013.