The urban settlements we inhabit today exist in their present form due to a host of reasons. There are cities that have grown due to their proximity to water – such as the growth of Dar es Salaam to the major port city it is today. There are the planned capital cities scattered around the world, governments of countries such as Brazil and Nigeria building cities from scratch from the input of acclaimed architects. There are also the settlements that exist and grow because of certain industries, such as Silicon Valley in the American state of California being home to giants of the technology industry. There’s an industry, however, that has spawned both pulsating cities and abandoned towns – the mining industry.
Johannesburg: The Latest Architecture and News
Amancio d'Alpoim Miranda Guedes, known as Pancho Guedes was an architect, painter, sculptor, and educator that is revered as one of the earliest post-modernist architects in Africa. Throughout his career, he has contributed to more than 500 building designs which were often characterized as eclectic, bringing together Lusophone African influence with his unique surrealist and experimental artistic style. It is said that having worked mainly in Mozambique, Angola, South Africa, and Portugal, Pancho Guedes was less well known than he ought to have been in the rest of the world, as he is a leading figure in modern African architecture.
The 20th Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Johannesburg-based practice Counterspace, directed by Sumayya Vally, will finally open on 11 June 2021. After its 1-year postponement due to the global pandemic, the temporary pavilion will stay on display until 17 October 2021, on the Serpentine Gallery’s lawn in Kensington Gardens.
Christophe Hutin Curates France's Pavilion for the 2021 Venice Biennale, Highlighting “Communities at Work” in Europe, Asia, America and Africa
The French pavilion at the 2021 Venice Biennale, “aims to reflect on the meeting between architectural know-how and the inhabitants’ own experiences of their living spaces”. Curated by Christophe Hutin, the intervention entitled “Communities at Work” will provide an immersive experience with the help of images in motion. Using five specific case studies on different continents: in Europe, Asia, America, and Africa, the exhibition presents a journey into a world where communities transformations their own living spaces, without following any formal schemes designed by an architect.
Adjaye Associates has unveiled its design for a new historical center for African consciousness, the Thabo Mbeki Presidential Library in Johannesburg. Named after the previous president of South Africa, the project is an opportunity to realize the dreams of Thabo Mbeki to advance and empower an African renaissance, according to the 2021 RIBA Royal Gold Medal winner Sir David Adjaye.
Led by architectural designers Khensani de Klerk and Solange Mbanefo, Matri-Archi is a collective based between Switzerland and South Africa that aims to bring African women together for the development of spatial education in African cities. Through design practice, writing, podcasts, and other initiatives, Matri-Archi focuses on the recognition and empowerment of women in the spatial field and architectural industry.
ArchDaily had the opportunity to talk to the co-directors of the collective on hegemonic space, informal architecture, technology, local idiosyncrasies, and the future of African and global cities. Read the full interview below.
The Arch for Arch, an intertwined wooden archway honoring Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has debuted in downtown Cape Town, South Africa on a site near Parliament where Tutu held many of his anti-Apartheid protests.
Designed by Snøhetta and Johannesburg-based Local Studio, in collaboration with Design Indaba and Hatch engineers, the Arch for Arch consists of 14 woven strands of Larch wood, representing the 14 chapters of South Africa’s constitution. Reaching nearly 30 feet tall (9 meters), the structure invite visitors to pass through and be reminded of the location’s prominent role in their country’s history on their way to the Company’s Garden, one of the most popular public spaces in the city since its establishment in 1652.