Texts by Filip De Boeck, Killian Doherty, Okwui Enwezor, Andres Lepik, Lesley Naa Norle Lokko, Iain Low, Edgar Pieterse and many others. Africa’s economic boom is being accompanied by a rapid urban growth that is decidedly altering the continent. Approaches to an individual, ecological, and context-sensitive kind of architecture are evolving within these transformative processes. In these changing urban structures, numerous projects aim at making an impact on society. Thus, a large number of building schemes—most of them conceived with the help of the local population—are turning the city into an experimental field for design. Rural planning, on the other hand, is developing traditional local architectural techniques, vocabularies, and materials through technological and stylistic innovations. This opulent catalogue features essays by the architectural historian Andres Lepik and others, and presents around twenty outstanding examples of contemporary African architecture south of the Sahara. Alongside interviews with architects, developers, and sponsors, the book provides a comprehensive view of an original, lively architectural culture.
Where a term like "Western architecture" is likely to conjure a gamut of specific examples ranging from the Colosseum to the Empire State Building, "African architecture"-whether ancient or modern-still connotes very little for a general audience in the West. Happily, this is changing, as Africa's recent economic boom is transforming the urban landscape across the continent, and yielding a rich new crop of architects and buildings with a range of approaches and solutions as diverse as Africa itself. This opulently illustrated volume, with informative texts by the architectural historian Andres Lepik and documentation of models and maps, examines a broad range of examples of contemporary architecture in Africa. The selection is confined to countries south of the Sahara, such as Burkina Faso, Rwanda and South Africa, where the transformation of the architectural landscape has been particularly pronounced and remarkable in recent years. Throughout, references to the hallmarks and principles of Western historical architecture are notable; but equally striking is the innovative use of local materials and often minimal resources. Very little has been published on contemporary African architecture, making this substantial volume an important and pioneering publication.
architecture ; urban anthropology
Lirias (KU Leuven Association)
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