Iwan Baan, Francis Kéré

Momentum of Light

Across the African continent, but especially in the the sub-Saharan region, the light provided by the sun has a particularly stark quality – a fact that becomes apparent in traditional buildings and in the way sunlight shapes the daily routines of their inhabitants. With no artificial light, architecture had to make use of sunlight to create a light source within a building, yet at the same time it had to protect the inhabitants of a house from its intensity. The result is a vernacular architecture that works with very few or small openings. They render the inside of a building nearly pitch black while the outside is illuminated by glaring sunshine.

On the initiative of the lighting company Zumtobel Group, architectural photographer Iwan Baan and architect Francis Kéré set out to capture how the sun’s natural light cycle shapes vernacular architecture in Burkina Faso. Iwan Baan’s pictures are accompanied by architectural sketches from Francis Kéré, who grew up in this light environment and whose architecture is inspired by it.

Across the African continent, but especially in the the sub-Saharan region, the light provided by the sun has a particularly stark quality – a fact that becomes apparent in traditional buildings and in the way sunlight shapes the daily routines of their inhabitants. With no artificial light, architecture had to make use of sunlight to create a light source within a building, yet at the same time it had to protect the inhabitants of a house from its intensity. The result is a vernacular architecture that works with very few or small openings. They render the inside of a building nearly pitch black while the outside is illuminated by glaring sunshine.

On the initiative of the lighting company Zumtobel Group, architectural photographer Iwan Baan and architect Francis Kéré set out to capture how the sun’s natural light cycle shapes vernacular architecture in Burkina Faso. Iwan Baan’s pictures are accompanied by architectural sketches from Francis Kéré, who grew up in this light environment and whose architecture is inspired by it.

WINNER

AIGA 50 Books, 50 Covers 2021

Best Dutch Book Designs 2021

D&AD Awards 2022 (Wood Pencil, Book Design Category)

European Design Awards 2022 (Gold Award, Annual Report Category)

SHORTLIST

Rencontres d'Arles Book Awards 2022 (Author Book Award Category)


«Dieser Bildband ist eine Kostbarkeit»
– Süddeutsche Zeitung

a good addition to any architectural library.
world-architects

«Momentum of Light ist ein Buch über Licht und Raum, das Architektur- und Fotografieliebhaber gleichermassen zu begeistern mag
sichtbar.art

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.”
Architectural Record

«Mit Momentum of Light ist das Kunststück gelungen, dieses faszininierende Zusammenspiel von Licht, Schatten und Architektur eindrucksvoll auf Papier zu übertragen.»
BauNetz


Author(s): Francis Kéré

With photographs by Iwan Baan

Design: Haller Brun

24 × 33 cm, 9 ½ × 12 ½ in

180 pages, 108 illustrations

paperback

2021, 978-3-03778-686-4, English
CHF 80.00

Francis Kéré

Francis Kéré is an internationally renowned Burkinabè architect, recognised for his pioneering approach to design and sustainable modes of construction. His vocation to become an architect comes from a personal commitment to serve the community he grew up in, and a belief in the transformative potential of beauty. In 2004, his very first building was awarded the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture, garnering him critical acclaim from the outset of his career. In 2005 he founded his architectural practice, Kéré Architecture GmbH, as well as the Kéré Foundation e. V., a non-profit organisation that pursues projects in his home village of Gando in Burkina Faso.

Iwan Baan

Photo Iwan Baan

Iwan Baan (*1975) is a Dutch photographer based between Amsterdam and the U.S., known primarily for images that narrate the life and interactions that occur within architecture. His artistic approach has given matters of architecture an approachable and accessible voice, focusing on the perspectives of the everyday individuals who give meaning and context to the architecture and spaces that surround us. In 2012, he received the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale for his work on the Torre David in Caracas, Venezuela, gaining him further international acclaim. Architects turn to Baan to give their work a sense of place. Baan’s first major retrospective of his globally renowned oeuvre is on show at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein from 21 October 2023 – 3 March 2024.