Share via FacebookShare via TwitterShare via LinkedInShare via Pinterest
introduction Edit

Schulbausteine für Gando e.V. (Building Blocks for Gando) was set up by the award winning architect Diébédo Francis Kéré in 1998. Kéré was born in the village of Gando, which lies in Burkina Faso, West Africa, and was the first member of his community to attend school. After studying in Berlin, he felt it was his duty to contribute to his family and to the community which had supported him. To this end, he founded the non-profit organization Building Blocks for Gando in Berlin and went on to adopt an innovative approach of development through architecture.

In 2001, Building Blocks raised the money for the community of Gando to build a primary school. Kéré provided the inspiration for the project. On drawing a preliminary plan in the sand he found the community fully engaged in the project, many of them coming up with their own suggestions of how to improve it. As Kéré says, “Only those who are involved in the development process can appreciate the results achieved, develop them further and protect them”.

Show more
Show less

image gallery Add

technical drawings Edit

cultural and social context Edit

Gando is a village of 3000 inhabitants situated in the remote East of Burkina Faso, the 7th poorest country in the world. The village has no source of electricity besides the solar powered lamps, no access to clean water apart from wells, and the literacy rate is well below the national average of 25%. Life expectancy in Burkina Faso is 52. Most people are subsistence farmers, with their livelihoods dependent on the harsh climate – there is virtually no rain between October and June, and daytime temperatures can reach 45°C in the shade.

materials and building techniques Edit
Show more
Show less

earth and climate Edit
Show more
Show less


Project details
Project name: Gando Primary School
Description: Building a primary school together with the village community
Category: education
Design: Diébédo Francis Kéré
Building status: in use
Location: Gando, Burkina Faso
Coordinates: 11°50'39'' N, 0°25'32.6'' W
Tags: local resources, community practice, crowdfunding, earth, cli­mate
Project ID: 6
Published: 15 March 2011
Last updated: 20 September 2012
(images have individual licenses)
CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
  • homeproject1
    Community Bamboo Footbridge
    Community-built 23 meter span bamboo footbridge.
    Design: Andrea Fitrianto
    Location: Davao City, Philippines
  • homeproject2
    Empowering local community by building together.
    Design: al bordE
    Location: El Cabuyal, Ecuador
  • homeproject3
    Community engagement for sustainable urban living.
    Location: Colombes, France