Kenyan Architecture

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Kenyatta International Convention Center: A Modernist Icon of Post-Colonial African Architecture

The modern and futuristic architecture of Sub-Saharan Africa reflects the aspirations and progressive spirit that dominated the early years of independence for many countries in this region between the late 1950s and early 1960s. This architectural production, coinciding with economic growth, employed complex construction methods in designs that seamlessly blended interior and exterior spaces (thanks to the tropical climate), focusing on form and expression of materiality. From this fusion of specific conditions emerged architectural masterpieces of unique value that demand 'rediscovery,' among them the Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC) in Nairobi, Kenya.

Colonial Connections: The Railway on the African Continent

There’s a well-known catchphrase – “Cape to Cairo” – that has spawned numerous books and piqued the imagination of countless travellers of the African continent. The phrase’s origins are of imperial nature, birthed out of an 1874 proposal by English journalist Edwin Arnold that sought to discover the origins of the Congo River. This project was later taken up by imperialist Cecil Rhodes, who envisioned a continuous railway of British-ruled territories that stretched from the North to the South of the continent.

World Habitat Awards 2024 Recognize Housing Initiatives that Empower Communities

International non-profit organization World Habitat, in partnership with UN-Habitat, has announced the World Habitat Awards 2024. The prizes strive to highlight projects that demonstrate novel and transformative approaches to housing that incorporate principles of climate change adaptation and community-driven solutions. This year, 8 projects have been selected, out of which 2 projects were recognized with the Gold World Habitat Award.

Rethinking the Roles of Small-Scale Informal Wood Industries in Tropical Africa

Tropical Africa boasts vast forests that cover 3.6 million square kilometers of land in West, East, and Central Africa. These forests provide valuable timber resources that significantly impact sectors, such as the furniture, fuel, and paper industries. However, interestingly, timber is seemingly absent in the contemporary architecture of the countries in this region. While architectural taste plays a role, the main reasons for this absence can be attributed to the wood industries' inability to meet the requirements of availability, affordability, aesthetic appeal, durability, and climatic and structural performance of timber. The wood industry in tropical Africa is mainly composed of informal and small-scale operations, focused primarily on sawing logs rather than refining wood for architectural or structural purposes. Despite this, the large number of informal enterprises in the region presents an opportunity to reshape the wood industry and utilize the local forestry resources to construct timber buildings.

The Urban Remnants of Colonial Planning in Africa: Dar es Salaam and Nairobi

A quick glance today at the cities of the African continent reveals a rich diversity of urban settlements, ranging in type from rural enclaves to sprawling metropolises. That quick glance also reveals a larger picture of cities that are continuously adapting and evolving as we enter the decade of the 2020s – yet this evolution in many places is taking place at the expense of those who are less fortunate. This is not happening in a vacuum, as the reason why a lot of African cities look as they do today is a result of a segregated organization during colonial rule.

The Architect's Studio Series at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art Presents Work by Cave_bureau

The final installment of The Architect's Studio series at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art showcases the works of Cave_bureau, an architectural studio from Kenya. The exhibition explores the volcanic caves of Kenya, emphasizing the concept of "reversed futurism." Cave_bureau believes that by studying the past, they can develop sustainable solutions for the future.

Graham Foundation Awards 64 Grants for Architecture and Design Projects with Critical Perspectives in 2023

The Graham Foundation has announced the award of 64 new grants to individuals exploring innovative and interdisciplinary ideas that contribute critical perspectives on architecture and design in 2023.

How Can Informal Retail Preserve Pedestrian Zones as Car Dependency Increases in African Cities?

African cities are expected to experience a significant increase in population over the next 30 years. According to United Nations projections, these cities will welcome an additional 900 million inhabitants by 2050. This demographic shift will create both opportunities and challenges that will reshape the nature and structure of these cities. These challenges include the need for economic growth, increased demand for housing and infrastructure, and the development of supplementary transportation systems. So far, most African cities have responded to this rapid population growth with sprawling horizontal development patterns that expand the fringes of the city, increase social fragmentation, and ultimately lead to greater car dependency.

Color, Composition, and Scale: Analyzing Brutalist Photography

Sometimes sculptural and expressive, sometimes monolithic and monotonous, the Brutalist architectural style is equal parts diverse and divisive. From its origins as a by-product of the Modernism movement in the 1950s to today, Brutalist buildings, in architectural discourse, remain a popular point of discussion. A likely reason for this endurance is — with their raw concrete textures and dramatic shadows, brutalist buildings commonly photograph really well.

The Architectural Identity of the State House

Known as the state house, the presidential palace, and an assortment of other terms — the building that hosts a country’s seat of government is usually quite architecturally striking. Frequently opulent, grand, and sometimes imposing, the state house is intended to function as a visually distinct marker of a nation — an extension of a state’s identity. In the African continent, a landmass that had seen a significant part of it colonized by European nations, this identity of statehood, in an architectural sense, is complex.