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Malawian Architecture

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Latest news in Malawi

NUDES designs School in Malawi made from Straw Bales

11:00 - 29 April, 2019
NUDES designs School in Malawi made from Straw Bales, © NUDES
© NUDES

Architecture firm NUDES has released details of their proposed secondary school in Malawi, constructed from straw bales. Responding to a brief focused on modularity, incremental expansion, deployment, and sustainable technology, the scheme is formed of a modular “ladder” component deployed to create a structural system that houses the pedagogical intent of the school.

Burckhardt+Partner's Vaulted Brick School in Malawi "Opens Up to the Local Village"

11:00 - 8 April, 2019
Burckhardt+Partner's Vaulted Brick School in Malawi "Opens Up to the Local Village", © Burckhardt+Partner
© Burckhardt+Partner

Burckhardt+Partner has released details of their proposed secondary school in Malawi. Finalists in a competition for the school’s design, the Burckhardt+Partner scheme embodies the old African proverb that it takes a community to educate a child, rather than simply the walls, roofs, and books of a school. The St. Paul’s new secondary school therefore embraces its community, inviting the adjacent parish and primary school to grow together as a village.

TED Talk: Christian Benimana of MASS Design Group on Founding a Design School for Africa

09:30 - 30 December, 2017
TED Talk: Christian Benimana of MASS Design Group on Founding a Design School for Africa, via Screenshot from video
via Screenshot from video

Are we going to follow a model of unsustainable building and construction similar to what I witnessed in China—or can we develop a uniquely African model of sustainable, and equitable development? I'm optimistic we can.

Steven Holl Architects Designs Library and Campus Masterplan in Malawi, Africa

13:25 - 9 December, 2016
Steven Holl Architects Designs Library and Campus Masterplan in Malawi, Africa, Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects
Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects

Steven Holl Architects have revealed plans for a new library and campus design in Malawi, coinciding with the project’s approval by The Miracle for Africa Foundation. To be constructed of local stone, bamboo and concrete, the library will provide 66,000 square feet (6,132 square meters) of study and gathering space to the community.

Why I Created a Database to Document African Vernacular Architecture

09:30 - 3 June, 2015
Why I Created a Database to Document African Vernacular Architecture, Mali - Niongono village House of the head (patron) of one of the big families of Niongono. Image © Daniel Schumann
Mali - Niongono village House of the head (patron) of one of the big families of Niongono. Image © Daniel Schumann

Architecture is a unique component of a country's culture just as much as its language, music, art, literature or food. Architecture is also the most visual of those cultural components; the pyramids in Egypt, skyscrapers in New York, a temple in Japan, and onion domes in Russia all convey a unique image. This is called “genius loci,” the “spirit of a place”. Every country has its own genius loci, its own uniqueness. Vernacular architecture is composed of local materials and derived from local customs, techniques that have been passed on from generation to generation. But vernacular architecture in most (if not all) African countries is disappearing, being abandoned for western materials and techniques.

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