Nature has continually played muse to architects. Colors and forms from the natural world find themselves embedded in artificial edifices. Buildings are also shaped by patterns of the wind and sun, topography, and vegetation. While architecture is informed by the effects of nature, buildings have been proposed as inert objects that remain static in a biologically evolving world. Anthropocentric concrete “jungles” are devoid of life, separating humans from natural environments and causing imbalances that have manifested as pandemics. What would cities look like if there were no boundaries between humans and ecosystems?
Mogadishu: The Latest Architecture and News
Since the start of civil war in 1991, the political and architectural landscapes of the East African country of Somalia have been unstable. While the country’s urban centers, such as the capital city Mogadishu, boast a diverse fabric of historic mosques, citadels, and monuments alongside modernist civic structures, the decades of conflict have resulted in the destruction of many important structures. And, while the fighting has substantially subsided in recent years, the future of the country's architectural heritage is still far from secure.
In response, Somali architecture students from across the UK, Italy, and the United States have banded together to form Somali Architecture, an ongoing research project archiving and digitally "rebuilding" iconic structures through 3D models. Their goal is “to preserve the identity and authenticity” of Somalia through its architecture—both existing and destroyed. “We want each iconic building of the past to be reinterpreted for a more coherent future,” they say.
See below for a selection of the structures Somali Architecture has uncovered and re-constructed so far.