Senegalese 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.

A Translucent Art Museum in Dubai and a Biennale Exhibition Hall in South Korea: 8 Unbuilt Cultural Institutions Submitted by the ArchDaily Community

In the contemporary context, museums face contradictory sets of ideas: becoming attractions on and of themselves but presenting an understated image that shifts the attention to the exhibits, creating a safe and protected environment for the artifacts, yet opening them up to the public, becoming repositories of history yet catalysts for innovation. Searching for the balance between all of these constraints has resulted in the flourishing of diverse types of museums and cultural institutions, from those dedicated to the remembrance of a single event or persona to temporary homes for cultural events or spaces that expand their cultural offering beyond exhibition areas.

Top Stories of the Year Exploring the Architectural Identity of Local Communities

Local communities are more than just a collection of buildings and infrastructure. They possess a distinctive architectural character that mirrors their history, culture, and values. As part of our year in review, we take a deep dive into the top narratives that examine the architectural identity of different local communities.

Discovering the Island of Saint-Louis: A Journey Through Architectural History and Conservation Challenges

Located 270km north of Dakar, the capital of Senegal, and near the border with Mauritania, is the Island of Saint-Louis. It is a prominent colonial city in West Africa, known for its blend of Mediterranean architecture with a tropical climate. Saint-Louis was founded by the French Colony in 1659 as its first trading post on the Atlantic coast of Africa. It later became the capital of French West Africa (AOF) and Senegal. However, it lost this status in 1902, which led to its economic decline.

The Fractals at the Heart of Indigenous African Architecture

Fractals are complex geometric shapes with fractional dimensional properties. They have emerged as swirling patterns within the frontiers of mathematics, information technology, and computer graphics. Over the last 30 years, these patterns have also become important modeling tools in other fields, including biology, geology, and other natural sciences. However, fractals have existed far beyond the birth of computers, and have been observed by anthropologists in indigenous African societies. One of which is Ron Eglash; an American scientist who presents the evidence of fractals in the architecture, art, textile sculpture, and religion of indigenous African societies. In his book, “African Fractals: Modern Computing and indigenous design”, the fractals in African societies are not simply accidental or intuitive but are design themes that evolve from cultural practices and societal structures.

Cross-Cultural Collaboration: A Tool for Imagining Africa's Future

As Venice Architecture Biennale presents its 18th edition titled "The Laboratory of the Future", it centers on Africa as a place of exploration that will offer a template for solutions to the world. According to its curator Lesley Lokko, the Biennale explores entrenched concepts such as climate, land rights, decolonization, and cultures. It challenges us to question how Africa's history can be a radical tool for imagination and reminds us of Stephen Covey's statement: “Live out of your imagination, not just your history.” The biennale's title is probably the most ambitious question in years. It forces us to revisit all boundaries of the continent's historical societies, explore the influence of imposed colonial borders on them, and examine the dual identities they gave birth to. We must consider how these identities can be instruments of creativity, and, more importantly, recognize that every African society has a unique point of view. This viewpoint yearns for cross-cultural collaboration as a powerful tool for imagination.

The Rural vs. The Urban: The Postcolonial City of Dakar in the Film Touki Bouki

Simultaneously gripping, disconcerting, and chaotic, Djibril Diop Mambéty’s Touki Bouki is an exhilarating cinematic ride. The 1973 drama — the first full-length film by the Senegalese director — is the fantastical narration of a young couple in Dakar, eager to escape the Senegalese capital for the allure of Paris. It’s a character-driven film in many ways, primarily centered on the couple’s adventures, but it is also a subtle visual examination of the urbanism of post-independence Dakar, where the city and its architecture are essential fixtures in a surreal storyline.

The 23 Most Anticipated Projects of 2023

As the new year begins, we look forward to the most exciting projects planned to open in 2023. The world's second-tallest tower is currently under construction in Malaysia; Egypt is almost ready to open its largest archeological museum, while MVRDV is currently renovating a large-scale brutalist landmark in Albania. Featuring internationally renown architectural offices such as Snøhetta, OMA, Studio Gang, Zaha Hadid Architects, BIG, along with the latest winner of the Pritzker Prize, Francis Kéré, the following selection presents projects from all around the world. They also range in scale and program, from international airports to sculptural arts galleries or museum expansions.

What Role Should Architectural Prototypes Play in the Global South?

It’s an essential component of the design process, where spatial ideations are translated into built form – the design of the prototype. Architectural projects, throughout history and in contemporary practice, have been prototyped to carry out both technical and aesthetic tests, where further insight is gained into the integrity of the design. It’s the blurred line between the experimental and the practical.

Aga Khan Award for Architecture Announces Winners of the 2020-2022 Cycle

Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA) announced the winners of the 2022 edition. From a pool of 463 projects nominated for the 15th Award Cycle (2020-2022), the six winners show examples of architectural excellence in the fields of contemporary design, social housing, community improvement and development, historic preservation, reuse and area conservation, as well as landscape design and improvement of the environment. Two projects from Bangladesh, one from Indonesia, Iran, Lebanon, and Senegal, will share the UDS 1 million award, one of the largest in architecture.