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Africa: The Latest Architecture and News

Letter From Nigeria: Coronavirus and the African City

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, I, like most of the world, have spent the last few months quarantined at home, perturbed and uncertain about the ramifications of it all. I will spare you my predictions for the Post-Pandemic Future of the African City (there’s presently no shortage of those), but instead, I want to offer up some observations about our current situation. As an African, my perspective is both unique to our continent and universal to everyone. It is, afterall, a global pandemic. 

Kaira Looro Competition Announces Results of its 2020 Edition

The Kaira Looro Architecture Competition to support humanitarian projects has released its full list of winning projects for an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in Sub-Saharan Africa. The contest, already in its 4th edition, aims to raise awareness among the international community about emergencies in developing countries, and support humanitarian projects in Africa.

Obafemi Awolowo University: A Look at Africa's Most Beautiful Campus

The Library 1966. Image Courtesy of The Arieh Sharon Digital ArchiveThe Campus . Image Courtesy of The Arieh Sharon Digital ArchiveThe Secretariat 1968. Image Courtesy of The Arieh Sharon Digital ArchiveThe Assembly Hall 1970 . Image Courtesy of The Arieh Sharon Digital Archive+ 7

From academic institutes in North America to residential projects in the Middle East, the various disciplines of Bauhaus and its influence on architecture and design are noticeably present in projects all over the world. While most projects acquired the school's universal language, a few unique ones combined Bauhaus' theory and design principles with the site's cultural and climatic specificity.

This article is a collaboration between ArchDaily and the Arieh Sharon Org. All historical images were shared by the organization.

African House Design Competition - A Home For The Jorejick Family

Tanzania suffers from a terrible shortage of good quality and affordable housing. So dire is this shortage that the nation currently carries a 3 million housing deficit coupled with a 200.000 unit annual demand. Over seventy percent of its urban residents live in unplanned and unserviced informal settlements.

With that in mind, Archstorming is looking for a housing design to be implemented not only in Tanzania, but also in other African countries where housing is an increasing problem.

​In order to do so, the current competition will explore efficient and economic ways to build houses in Africa. The Jorejick family, located near

Contemporary Mozambique: 4 Projects that Respond to Present Challenges

After centuries of Portuguese colonization and recent conquest of independence, Mozambique has undergone a difficult period with new challenges, such as the combat against poverty, the infrastructure deficit, and uncontrolled urban expansion. On the architecture field, it is possible to notice the impact of these challenges on the evolution of the Mozambican projects. Some examples are: the prediction of the need to expand the building in the future, the adoption of climate control passive measures and the utilization of vernacular constructive techniques adapted to the local context (as a way to minimize energy consumption in the different phases of building construction and its respective costs).

Rural Frameworks: Ghana's New Spaces for Learning

Ghana's architecture has long been tied to local building materials. From traditional thatch roofs and mud walls to contemporary concrete and glass structures, the country's built environment is a refection of the surrounding context. This is true for urban and rural projects alike, and as new educational buildings are created across Ghana, these spaces reflect the country's landscape as they look to the future of learning.

Courtesy of Maude Cannat, Rachel Méau, Steve Santos© Anna Schweiger© Andrea TabocchiniCourtesy of Irene Librando, Nadia Peruggi, Lucile Bitz, Antonella Mennella+ 7

Archstorming Announces Winning Designs for Mozambique Preschool

Archstorming has announced the winning designs for a preschool in Mozambique. Participants were challenged to design a school for disabled children in Xai-Xai. and the winning proposal will be built with the help of the NGO Somos del Mundo and the local initiative Estamos Juntos. Judges selected the five winners and ten honorable mentions.

Courtesy of ArchstormingCourtesy of ArchstormingCourtesy of ArchstormingCourtesy of Archstorming+ 7

Taking on Tanzania: Architecture at Play

Tanzania’s architecture is built to celebrate nature and everyday life. Representing a long history of diverse styles, from British and German to Arab influences, much of the country’s major buildings include mosques, churches and marketplaces. Today, Tanzania’s diversity is also rooted in its traditional architecture and structures that were shaped by both their functional use and culture.

© Konstantin Ikonomidis© Jesper Anhede© Stevie Mann© Robin Hayes+ 6

Contemporary Angola: Technology and Identity in 4 Projects

Angola, like many African countries, is experiencing a process of rapid urbanization. For the most part, these changes are happening under little to no regulation, filling cities with spaces that lack the infrastructure to provide a basic quality of life for residents. However, in spite of this unregulated development, it's worth noting the quality of contemporary architecture being produced in the second-largest Portuguese-speaking country, where projects draw inspiration from the strong local identity and blend with modern materials and technology.

In this article, we highlight 4 current projects in Angola. While it is a small sample, not only from the capital city of Luanda, but from smaller cities as well, it showcases the richness of Angola's local architecture--an art form that deserves worldwide recognition.

Côte d'Ivoire: Modern Architecture Along Africa's Ivory Coast

The Ivory Coast is creating a new design language in West Africa. Located between Ghana and Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire is home to a range of modern architecture. Before colonization, the Ivory Coast was home to Gyaaman, the Kong Empire, and Baoulé, with ties that would shape its identity. Now, local architecture is rethinking past traditions to create a model for the future.

© Iwan Baan© François-Xavier Gbré© François-Xavier Gbré© Iwan Baan+ 11

South Africa's Waste to Wonder Pavilion Transforms Public Space with Upcycled Trash

Architecture studio theMAAK has unveiled a new installation as part of the 2019 experimental Design & Make program Follies in the Veld (FITV) in Cape Town, South Africa. The team worked with makers and the community to collectively design and build a large scale ‘Folly’. Each year, a specific site and a unique material is used as the departure point for the hands-on creative program.

© Sophie Zimmermann© Ella PetousisCourtesy of theMAAK_FITV 2019Courtesy of theMAAK_FITV 2019+ 11

Rebuilding Rwanda: Designing a New Future

Rwanda is writing a new global story for itself. Over two decades after the end of the country’s civil war and the 1994 genocide, a series of progressive visions have been the catalyst for transformation throughout Rwanda. These economic and structural reforms have redefined the built environment, and in turn, are shaping contemporary architecture across the country.

© Bruce Engel© Elizabeth Felicella© Crookes and Jackson© Jules Toulet+ 15

Modern Morocco: Building a New Vernacular

Modern Moroccan architecture is reinterpreting vernacular traditions. Taking its name from the Arabic al-maġhrib, or the “place the sun sets; the west”, the kingdom is a sovereign state home to numerous examples of Islamic design, as well as detailed art and ornamentation found within geometric patterns, friezes and open courtyards.

© Fernando Guerra, FG+SG© Luc Boegly© Fernando Guerra, FG+SG© Doublespace Photography+ 12

9 Innovative Practices Redefining What Architects Can Be

Wherever there is a center, there is by necessity a periphery. This in itself should not generate any headlines; we live in a world of centers, and peripheries that continually stretch those centers, whether it be politics, countries, or societal norms. It also applies to architectural practice. In a complex, interconnected world, members of the architectural profession around the world are constantly expanding into new peripheries, generating new visions for how practice should operate, influenced by technological, political, cultural, and environmental changes.

Hope Dental Center: Rwanda Clinic and Training Institute

Archstorming is collaborating in this new competition with His Hands on Africa. a non-profit organization born in 2016 that wants to address the lack of dental services by equipping communities to achieve sustainability with dignity. The chosen location is Rwanda, a small country in the heart of Africa.

In Rwanda, 18% of morbidity cases are directly linked to treatable oral diseases that are easily preventable and curable, with access to basic dental care and education, according to the 2016 reports by the Rwandan District Hospital. Rwanda currently has 48 dentists in a country with a population of almost 12 million

Why Africa is the Future of Megacities

In a discourse about the future of cities, one could be forgiven for limiting their geographical scope to innovations in Europe, the United States, and increasingly, China and Southeast Asia. After all, Shenzhen is about to once again host the world’s only Biennale dedicated exclusively to urbanization, while smart, responsive architecture manifests in visions for cities such as Toronto and London, and tech giants such as Microsoft and Siemens. However, despite our preoccupation with the problems and opportunities of urbanization in the ‘Global North’, and the architectural innovations they herald, there is merit in expanding our horizons – and not just towards Mars. By the end of the century, none of the world’s largest 20 cities will be in China, Europe, or the Americas. Africa, meanwhile, will host 13 out of 20, including the top 3.

Wakanda’s Afro-Futuristic “Masterplan": An Ecosystem of Flexible BIM Structures for Urban Nomads

The second machine age, gender-based violence, global south, developing cities, poor infrastructure, influx, digitization, sustainability, Afro-futurism? We keep hearing the buzzwords over and over again but what does it all mean? How do these notions intersect spatially in response to the needs of future city developments? Cities are like ecosystems, collectively dependent on the surrounding environment. The larger and more complex they become, the greater the pressures and repercussions, namely: population growth, urban expansion, and physical resource scarcity.