As part of ArchDaily's coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale, we are presenting a series of articles written by the curators of the exhibitions and installations on show.
South African Architecture
Latest projects in South Africa
Latest news in South Africa
In a video interview with BBC news, Issa Diabaté of Koffi- Diabaté Architects discusses the need for an improvement in the urban fabric of Africa, and specifically in the city of Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire, where he has been working for the past 20 years. “It’s not by building one house after the next that we will have an impact on the city…I feel that the architects of tomorrow, especially in African cities, need to become developers, to actually imprint his or her vision on the city,” he says in the video. “There are no better ways of integrating issues of sustainability or issues of density than by doing it yourself.”
Design Indaba, in collaboration with the C-City Design Museum in Kerkrade, the Netherlands, has selected Hennie Botes’ “Moladi” for their new exhibit: “Design For A Better World | Innovations For People.” The exhibit aims to raise awareness of the significance of design by selecting projects relevant to current issues worldwide. Based out of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Moladi has provided a solution to the problem of affordable housing since 1986.
As the legacy of the Cold War fades and Western preeminence gradually becomes a thing of the past, population booms in Asia followed by the growth of a vast non-western middle class have seriously challenged the Western perception of the world. The East has become the focal point of the world’s development.
This year’s UIA World Congress was held in Durban, South Africa, and saw the participation of many well-respected firms. Representing South Korea were Kang Jun Lee and Yung A Kim of Studio Origin, whose pavilion highlighted the city of Seoul. Meant to herald the city as the host for the 2017 World Congress, their carefully arranged design offers space for a number of different promotional displays. See the details on this unique structure, after the break.
With the International Union of Architects (UIA)'s World Congress taking place last month, the eyes of the architecture world were on South Africa where - according to Phineas Harper of the Architectural Review - the conference was full of architects of all backgrounds with "irrepressible energy," sharing ideas on how architecture can be used for social good with an urgency that is somewhat unfamiliar in the Western world. "Whoever said architecture was stale, male and pale should have been in Durban," says Harper. You can read the full review of the event here.
The Guga S’Thebe Arts and Cultural Centre in Langa, Cape Town's oldest township, is expanding to include a theatre exclusively for children and adolescents. The main component of the theatre, set for completion this fall, will be a large, multi-functional space for hosting performances. The project, a collaborative effort between future users and international architecture students, is aimed at stimulating sustainable development while widening the possibilities for the target demographic. To check out more project images, continue after the break.
The much anticipated Treetop Walkway through the Arboretum in Cape Town's Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden is now open to the public. Located 11 metres above the ground, the galvanised steel and timber structure offers breathtaking views from the treetops. The project, a collaboration between Mark Thomas Architects and Henry Fagan & Partners consulting engineers, has been nicknamed Boomslang - a large, highly venomous African tree snake - due to its elevated, twisting form. Check out the stunning photographs by Adam Harrower, a horticulturist at the garden, after the break.
How do you undo centuries of inequality? How do you overturn an inequality so ingrained in a culture that it manifests itself physically - in the architecture of its homes and in the misshapen nature of its cities?
The history of Johannesburg's Ponte City Apartments is a provocative one: built in 1975 and designed by Manfred Hermer as the height of luxurious (white-only) living in South Africa, the continent's tallest residential building soon became a notorious vertical slum, filled with crime and poverty, its signature hollow core re-purposed as a trash dump and a suicide drop.
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