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Francis Kéré, David Chipperfield and Anne Lacaton headline Cevisama 2023 Architecture Forum

2022 Pritzker Prize winner, the man behind ‘Veles e Vents’ and 2021 Pritzker Prize winner are set to headline the Architecture Forum at the upcoming edition of Cevisama, slated to run from 27th February to 3rd March at Feria Valencia.

Valencia, 15th November 2022.- Cevisama is still adding fresh content for its upcoming edition, which takes place from 27th February to 3rd March at Feria Valencia. One outstanding element will be the participation of three top-level architects: Francis Kéré, 2022 Pritzker prize winner, David Chipperfield, creator amongst other things of the iconic ‘Veles e Vents’ at Valencia’s Marina, and 2021 Pritzker Prize winner Anne Lacaton. In the opinion of the fair’s director, Carmen Alvarez, the confirmation that Keré, Chipperfield and Lacaton are to headline the forum is excellent news. “These major figures taking part means we are set to have an extremely high-level line-up at the Architecture Forum”, she remarked. She also explained that Cevisama has always aimed to have the leading figures in the world of architecture on board, providing visitors with a unique forum for discussion and learning.

Francis Kére, social and sustainable architecture

Francis Kéré (b. Gando, 1965) is the newest Pritzker prize winner, having received the recognition this year, 2022. He is also the only African architect to have been awarded the discipline’s highest accolade. Kéré emigrated from his native village to Germany, where he studied architecture and became an emblem of social and sustainable construction. He goes back to Gando now and again from his office in Berlin and through the Kéré Foundation to help change the community he came from, creatively reinterpreting the limited resources and working with the local population. One example of this was the Gando primary school, his first piece of work and for which he was awarded the Aga Khan prize in 2004.

His main works and projects include the amenities in the National Park of Mali in Bamako, the Opera Village in Laongo (Burkina Faso), the Gando library (Burkina Faso), the Surgical Centre and Health Centre in Léo (Burkina Faso), the Lycée Schorge secondary school in Koudougou (Burkina Faso), the 2017 Pavilion at the Serpentine Gallery in London and the  Burkina Faso National Assembly in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso).

Francis Kéré combines his work as an architect with teaching at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the GSD at Harvard University, the Architecture Academy at Mendrisio University and Yale University. His work has been shown at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the ICO Museum in Madrid and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, amongst other centres.

David Chipperfield, an architect with a language of this own

David Chipperfield (b. London, 1953) studied architecture at Kingston School of Art and the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London before founding his own practice in 1985, which now has offices in London, Berlin, Milan and Shanghai.  He is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects. His many accolades include the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2010), the RIBA Gold Medal (2011) and the Praemium Imperiale, awarded by the Japan Art Association (2013).

The author of outstanding work such as the restoration of the Neues Museum in Berlin (2009) and the Zurich Kunsthaus extension (2020), his work in Spain includes the ‘Veles e Vents’ building, a joint project with Fermín Vázquez/b720 completed for the Americas Cup in Valencia (2006) and the City of Justice in Barcelona (2008).  As well as practicing his profession, David Chipperfield has also taught and lectured at schools of architecture all over the world. In 2012 he curated the Venice Architecture Biennale, that he styled ‘Common Ground’.  In 2017 he created the Fundación RIA in Spain, a private non-profit organisation that promotes economic, environmental and cultural development in Galicia. 

Anne Lacaton, Pritzker 2021, at the peak of her career

Anne Lacaton (b. Saint-Pardoux, France, 1955) is an architect and joint founder of the Lacaton Vassal studio and won the Pritzker Prize in 2021. She has been a teacher at the Federal Polytechnic in Zürich since 2017, and a visiting professor on the MCH (Master in Collective Housing) course at the Polytechnic University of Madrid. She founded her practice in partnership with Jean-Philippe Vassal in Paris in 1987, after graduating from the Bordeaux School of Architecture and completing their training as town planners. In their earliest pieces of work, such as the Latapie house in Bordeaux, they displayed an honesty and respect for the surroundings that they showed again in the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. 

Their study of construction extends to a huge range of types and scales, from the variable functionality approach in the Nantes School of Architecture to the technical innovation deployed in the refurbishment of the Bois-le-Prêtre tower in Paris and the simple shapes used in the shipyards that house the FRAC museum in Dunkirk.

The French practice has also demonstrated its architectural restraint and social commitment in projects such as the transformation of three blocks housing 530 homes in Bordeaux – completed in partnership with Frédéric Druot and Christophe Hutin and winner of the Mies van der Rohe prize in 2019— which champions refurbishment of obsolete building over demolition, along with an economy of movement and mediums focused on making the best of resources and providing comfort for the user. 

Cevisama booking up fast

Space at Cevisama is currently being booked “at a pretty fast pace”, according to the fair’s director, Carmen Alvarez, who has noted that more than 350 exhibitors have already confirmed their presence at the event. These include brands such as Neolith, Ceramica Mayor, Gres de Aragón, APE Grupo, Cerámicas Halcón, Ceracasa, Peronda, Baldocer, Keraben, Grupo STN, Aparici, Apavisa, Poalgi, Visobath, Vidres, Esmaltes, Smalticeram, Sigmadiamant, Chumillas Technology and Macer. It is expected that at this rate Cevisama 2023 will bring together over 500 brands as exhibitors and occupy eight of Feria Valencia’s. halls.

Cevisama’s director has also announced the launch of the guest buyer programme, adding that “This campaign is being exceptionally well received”. It is worth remembering in this regard that with support from the Generalitat Valenciana (the Valencia Regional Government) Feria Valencia has a budget of a million euros available to dedicate to recruiting quality visitors for this upcoming edition of Cevisama. “We hope that the presence of foreign buyers from the target markets will be the biggest and best that Cevisama has ever seen,” Alvarez commented.

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