Burkina Faso native and internationally renowned architect Francis Kéré has frequently returned to his homeland to give back—building contemporary structures for schools, clinics, housing, and an orphanage. But his latest project in the West African nation celebrates an existing age-old architecture, which developed to make use of the sub-Saharan sun as a light source within dwellings, but also to protect those living in them from its intensity. In Momentum of Light, Kéré’s sketches illustrate how the very few, and very small, openings within this architecture offer scant illumination, creating the paradoxical world of Kéré’s childhood, which has more recently been introduced to artificial lighting. Working with RECORD contributing photographer Iwan Baan—who shot the bright, life-filled outdoors and the often pitch-black interiors, constructed with decorated mud walls or carved directly into rocky terrain—Kéré presents a landscape of extreme contrasts in this large-format book, printed with a special technique to give a sense of being immersed in the very dim conditions that are documented.
Photos © Iwan Baan