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Pick of the Month April: « L’architecture dans le monde entier »

Une chose incontournable au Luxembourg : les chantiers et les nouvelles maisons, pour y vivre comme pour y travailler. La construction de nouveaux bâtiments est un sujet d’actualité dans le monde entier, que ce soit dans les villes dont le nombre d’habitants ne cesse d’augmenter ou dans les régions qui sont de plus en plus touchées par des conditions météorologiques extrêmes en raison de la crise climatique. Quel est donc l’avenir de la construction ? Quels sont les objectifs des nouveaux bâtiments ? Quels sont les matériaux disponibles ? Comment construire de manière durable et en préservant les ressources ? Notre Pick of the Month d’avril 2023 offre un aperçu des différentes perspectives et des méthodes de construction durable déjà existantes.

Francis Kéré: Radically Simple

Unlike almost any other architect, Diébédo Francis Kéré (*1965 in Burkina Faso) stands for the association of constructive, social, and cultural aspects of building. He made a name for himself not only with his designs for Christoph Schlingensief’s Opera Village Africa. He has received numerous international awards, primarily for his building projects in his native country of Burkina Faso— including the 2004 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. His structures join his formal training at the Technische Universität Berlin with the traditional building methods of Burkina Faso. In doing so, he places local social and historical needs at the center of his design concepts. The innovative thing about this work is: he relies on the inhabitants. They are trained to become professionals and thus the constructors of their own future. This first monograph on his extensive oeuvre provides unique insight into the creative work of this outstanding architect and renders visible the fact that architecture not only revolves around buildings, but always around people as well. (Hatje Cantz)

‘It is unbelievable’: Francis Kéré becomes first black architect to win the Pritzker prize [2022]

Edited by Andres Lepik

Hatje Cantz / 2016 / 208 pp


Architectural Guide : Sub-Saharan Africa

Despite the growing interest in Africa, the continent’s built environment is still largely unfamiliar in many parts of the world. Six volumes from the series Architectural Guides form the first comprehensive overview of architecture south of the Sahara that does justice to the region’s wealth of buildings. In 49 chapters, each focusing on one country, richly illustrated texts by more than 350 authors from Africa and across the globe come together to produce a superlative work.


On the basis of 850 selected buildings and over 200 thematic articles, the continent’s building culture is elucidated and contextualised. The diverse contributions paint a multifaceted picture of Africa’s architecture in the twenty-first century, a discipline shaped by traditional and colonial roots as well as today’s global interconnections and challenges. An introductory volume on the history and theory of African architecture provides essential background knowledge. (DOM publishers)

Edited by Philipp Meuser and Adil Dalbai

DOM publishers / 2021 / more than 3,000 pages


Lo—TEK. Design by Radical Indigenism

Three hundred years ago, intellectuals of the European Enlightenment constructed a mythology of technology. Influenced by a confluence of humanism, colonialism, and racism, this mythology ignored local wisdom and indigenous innovation, deeming it primitive. Today, we have slowly come to realize that the legacy of this mythology is haunting us.

Designers understand the urgency of reducing humanity’s negative environmental impact, yet perpetuate the same mythology of technology that relies on exploiting nature. Responding to climate change by building hard infrastructures and favoring high-tech homogenous design, we are ignoring millennia-old knowledge of how to live in symbiosis with nature. Without implementing soft systems that use biodiversity as a building block, designs remain inherently unsustainable.

Lo—TEK, derived from Traditional Ecological Knowledge, is a cumulative body of multigenerational knowledge, practices, and beliefs, countering the idea that indigenous innovation is primitive and exists isolated from technology. It is sophisticated and designed to sustainably work with complex ecosystems.

With a foreword by anthropologist Wade Davis and four chapters spanning Mountains, Forests, Deserts, and Wetlands, this book explores thousands of years of human wisdom and ingenuity from 18 countries including Peru, the Philippines, Tanzania, Kenya, Iran, Iraq, India, and Indonesia. We rediscover an ancient mythology in a contemporary context, radicalizing the spirit of human nature. (taschen)

Julia Watson

taschen / 2020 / 418 pp


Béton – La fin d’une ère ?

A la question quelle sorte d’époque fut le XXe siècle, le célèbre architecte japonais Kengo Kuma répond sans hésitation: «ce fut l’époque du béton. Aucun autre matériau n’a autant exprimé le siècle. Le béton a façonné les villes, les états et la culture. Et aujourd’hui encore il règne sur nos vies.» Il aura fallu ce chiffre sidérant pour en prendre conscience: entre 2011 et 2013, la Chine a coulé plus de béton que les Etats-Unis durant tout le 20e siècle. En moyenne, un être humain en consomme un mètre cube par an. C’est plus que le volume d’eau dont nous avons besoin pour maintenir notre corps en vie. Or les dommages collatéraux du béton donnent le vertige: production de CO2, épuisement des ressources de sable, obsolescence programmée. Changer notre manière de construire? Pas facile. Mais possible. Pour Heidi.news, Alia Bengana, architecte ex-accro au béton, a mené l’enquête sur les raisons de notre addiction, l’expansion de l’empire du béton et la résistance qui s’organise. (Heidi News)

Alia Bengana

La Revue des Explorations de Heidi.news / 2021 / 183 p.


Traditionelle Bauweisen

Vom Pueblo zum Fachwerkhaus oder dem japanischen Minka – traditionelle Bauweisen zeigen eine faszinierende Vielfalt und prägen mit ihrem Erscheinungsbild das Gesicht von Regionen. Doch im Zuge der Globalisierung werden sie vieler Orts zurückgedrängt. Gerade in den sich am schnellsten entwickelnden Ländern geht ein jahrhundertealter Erfahrungsschatz unwiederbringlich verloren, der auch für modernes Bauen von Interesse ist.

Am Beispiel von ausgewählten Wohnbauten aus allen Kontinenten zeigen 30 internationale Experten, warum wir noch immer von diesen traditionellen Bauweisen lernen können: Sie analysieren den kulturellen Kontext, die Anpassung an topografisch-klimatische Gegebenheiten und legen ihr Augenmerk auf die verwendeten lokalen Materialien und die Konstruktion, den Bauprozess und den notwendigen Unterhalt. (Birkhäuser)

Christian Schittich (Hrsg.)

Birkhäuser / 2019 / 384 S.


Redesign for Comfort

India’s affordable housing sector is booming. In a warming world, the new strcutures must prioritise thermal comfort. In cities vulnerable to heat, thermal comfort is crucial to one’s health, well-being and productivity. Building wisely can not only ensure it for all but also decarbonise the built environment to help mitigate global warming. (Down to Earth)

This article stems from one of CITIMs many international magazines and journals: Down to Earth, a fortnightly publication from India, focusing on scientific analysis of climate, social and environmental issues in India and around the world. This and other selected magazines are a part of CITIMs offer and can be read in our library.

Mitashi Singh, Sugeet Grover, Rajneesh Sareen, Anumita Roychowdhury

Down to Earth / 2022 / p. 26-40   

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