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.


Winner of the DAM Architectural Book Award 2022

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

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

MGIP Book Award 2022 (Gold Award, Art and Photography)

Kiran-and-Pramod Award 2022

AIGA 50 Books, 50 Covers 2021

Best Dutch Book Designs 2021


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

«Dieser Bildband ist eine Kostbarkeit»
– Süddeutsche Zeitung

a good addition to any architectural library.

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

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.»

Author(s): Francis Kéré
With photographs by Iwan Baan
Design: Haller Brun

24 × 33 cm, 9 ½ × 12 ½ in
180 pages, 108 illustrations
2021, 978-3-03778-686-4, English
75,00 €