Architecture in Africa as Science First and Art Second

The idea that architecture is increasingly becoming a catalyst for innovation and integral scientific change is evident and prevalent now more than any other time in the history of architecture. Here I propose a new way of looking at contemporary architecture in Africa, one that is driven purely by innovation and scientific breakthroughs rather than the existing pursuit of oversimplified totems...

Stellenbosch University Faculty of Medicine / MLB Architects

The client for this project was SU's Facilities Management,with the end user being SU’s Faculty of Medicine. The brief called for two 450 seater auditoriums, with break out areas. The budget was tight, the program fast-tracked and siting crucial. 

Focus : Hassan Fathy

Hassan Fathy is the default setting for social housing in architecture. He was the epitome of sustainable no pretence living, a man whose life and work spoke more to people within his community than perhaps any other architect in the world. It is perhaps with this mindset that archiDATUM launches the inaugural Series where we will FOCUS on the architects in Africa that are larger than their work.

GSA Boogertman+Partners International Lecture Series 2018 Features Alejandro Aravena

GSA Boogertman+Partners International Lecture Series 2018 starts with Alejandro Aravena of Elemental. Alejandro Aravena, graduated as an architect from Catholic University of Chile in 1992. He continued his studies of Theory and Art History in IUAV in Venice. In 1994 he established his own practice, Alejandro Aravena Architects. From 2000 until 2005, he taught at Harvard University, where he fo...

LAP Marina Residence / 5+1AA Alfonso Femia Gianluca Peluffo + Peia Associati

The main target regarding the LAP residential complex is not only to provide a luxury compound of modern villas with all the full residential services, allowing a sophisticate and environmental way to live in the growing town in a peaceful, tranquil and familiar way. The main issue that substantially stays back the idea of this plan is the reinterpretation of the African identity, reinventing t...

The Ecomo Home / Pietro Russo

The ecomo home is a compact home designed for modern, simple living in collaboration with nature. The design is based on basic sustainable, green design principles. The ecomo home offers a low-maintenance, modern, well-designed green housing alternative.

Nettleton 195 / SAOTA

Our client purchased the site, after we had completed an initial Design Concept for the previous property owner. Our client loved the design, and the visual direction the home was going, and accordingly shaped his brief around the design he saw.

Villa Amina / Pascal De Souza

Benin-based architect Pascal De Souza recently completed this beautiful eco-villa situated in Cape Coast, Ghana. The villa, a combination of a traditional technique of palm concrete, isolation in ceilings with grass and brickwork, explores the breezy coast with open facades and indoor outdoor spaces that connect the specific rooms of the house into one seamless spatially inclusive space.

Dar / Atelier FL

DAR is a family house on the Northern coast of Tunisia, overlooking the sea. The project consists in two separate volumes strongly connected to the garden, the pool and the sea view, set on top of a massive "platform". 

Tree House / Van Der Merwe Miszewski Architects

Trees are precious in Africa. They provide shelter for the elders at meeting time, for school children in the midday heat, for all to shield against the unrelenting elements. In a sense the tree has become iconic, almost mythical.

Mass Design Group's Documentary Made In Ilima Premieres at Architecture and Design Film Festival

On Friday, November 3rd 2017 at 9:00pm, MASS premiered a new feature-length documentary film titled Made in Ilima at the Architecture and Design Film Festival (ADFF)in New York City.In the center of Equator Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Ilima community remains one of the most isolated in the world. They have coexisted with endangered wildlife in their surrounding forest ...

Pavilions For Okana / Laura Katharina Strähle & Ellen Rouwendal

Pavilions for Okana is a Design & Build Project and an interdisciplinary challenge that seeks to make architecture strudents involved in the daily lives of their clients, predominantly focussing on sustainable architecture and narrowing down on cost.

UJ GSA Lecture Series: Bjarke Ingels Speaks in Johannesburg on Hedonistic Architecture and the Art of Giving Form

Bjarke Ingels spoke last week to over 750 enthusiastic architecture lovers in Maboneng, Johannesburg, continuing on the Lecture series run by the Graduate School Of Architecture at University of Johannesburg. Ingels, perhaps one of the most divergent critically acclaimed contemporary architects, sort to take the audience through a journey of his famous "process" of architecture, one now made kn...

Datum Antique: Houari Boumedienne Agricultural Village By Ricardo Bofil Taller Architects

The experience that RBTA has gained in the construction of housing developments was called on by the Algerian government, through the agency of France, to be applied to the construction of new centres of population in semi-desert areas where agriculture was to be promoted.

UJ GSA Lecture Series: David Adjaye on Unlearning Everything and Redoing it Again

David Adjaye explored a returning to the renaissance in African architecture yesterday at the University of Johannesburg Graduate School of Architecture in an engaging heart to heart with Lesley Lokko where he implored upon the need to radically explore architecture from always the new rather than projecting upon them before the actual solution, deeper meaning or discussion of the situation is ...

A Studio - A Tree House / Phillip Lühl + Nina Maritz Architects

The idea for this tiny studio of about 35 usable square meters was born out of its spectacular setting. The incredibly dense garden is home to everything from porcupines to guinea fowl and slopes down steeply to the dry ravine beyond. The clients’ insistence that no single tree may be cut required an unconventional approach. The only buildable space available was a 3 x 3m storeroom between the ...

Eco Maison / Studio Tamassociati

TAM associati inaugurated the 'eco-maison', the first batch of the H2OS project, which envisages the construction of an eco-village in Senegal’s Keur Village, 200 km from Dakar in a scheme that consists of common spaces and autonomous housing modules from the point of view of Energy and water in an area where desertification proceeds inevitably. The project predominantly focuses on desertificat...

Emergency Medical Housing Compound / Studio Tam Associati

Looking at the amount of discarded containers laying around the building site of the Salam Centre we had this simple idea: to use them again in order to realize the required international staff housing compound.

Niamey 2000 Housing / United 4 Design

Like its early predecessors, Niamey 2000 provides privacy for its inhabitants; however, the project strives to address more than the need for culturally appropriate housing. It takes a firm position on material selection by using unfired, earth masonry and passive cooling techniques to protect against Niger’s scorching temperatures. As is the case in many parts of the world, local materials hav...

Lubango Centre / Promontorio

With 9-storey, the building includes residential, offices and shops served by a common access and underground parking. On the ground floor, a sheltered and cross-ventilated open gallery generates a shaded and fresh space, allowing direct access to the shop fronts, to the residential and offices lobbies, and to a small backyard coffee-shop terrace.

Africa Architecture Awards 2017

The Africa Architecture Awards seek to celebrate design excellence and promote an increased awareness of the role and importance of architecture across Africa. Based on values rather than categories, the awards seek to honour established architects and encourage emerging and future voices. A ‘Critical Dialogue’ award promotes excellence in architectural writing, film and criticism and encourage...

Villa Agava / Driss Kettani

Villa Agava is a contemporary house, Yes, but not in the conventional sense. It explores the tenets of traditional Moroccan space planning, manouvering the modern building codes and council requirements to achieve elements of privacy, solidarity in forma and the good old courtyard expereince. It is easy to see how Driss Kettani, in this instance apart from the dynamic duo of Amine Siana and Saa...

The Reserve House / Metropole Architects

The reserve house is a piece of architecture that plays duality in its design. Propped up in Forestwood on the Dolphin coast, the house rises behind an indigenous dune forest enclave to peer across the landscape and still "reserve" its inner spaces to close up encounters.

Sapiens Building / Costalopes

The Sapiens Building is located in a former industrial zone 500 metres from the Avenida Marginal and the Bay of Luanda. The plot contains two other buildings: in the north-east, the headquarters of the INSS, the 14 storey Angolan Social Security; and in the south-east, a 20 storey residential building named Kings Tower.

Villa Suluwilo / COA

The use of simple linear plan forms, broken up into pavilions to accommodate the natural vegetation and site features dominate the layout. While the living courtyards, solid clay wall elements, open air bathrooms, “cooling” planted water features, connecting walkways, daybeds etc all have strong similarities to the Traditional Villa, it is the more creative ‘organic’ roof and the utilization of...

Mazars' 54 Glenhove / Paragon Architects

The just completed office complex for Mazars in Johannesburg marks a paradigm shift from the idea of commercial architecture. While it seeks to convey the companies values and inbuilt traditions, it departs from a conventional office complex and borders into an abode. The toned down concrete, playful facades and expansive forms break apart the massing of the project and connect at the entrance ...

Pin Up: Paragon Architect's Sasol Headquarters Sandton Walkabout by Edwin Seda

Four weeks ago I had the rabbit's foot fortune of visiting the new Sasol Headquarters in Sandton Johannesburg by Paragon Architects. The idea that sustainability is bland is dead now in the contemporary realm. We live in the evermore ostentatious and intrinsic ability to combine both sustainability and aesthetic within corporate architecture and the Sasol Headquarters is taking the front line t...

2016 13th Cycle Aga Khan Award for Architecture Winners Announced

Zaha Hadid Architects concrete beauty in the Beirut based , BIG’s “baby proofed park” Superkilen in Denmark and a comprehensive brick structure in Bangladesh’s Bait Ur Rouf Mosque were among the 6 winners of the Aga Khan awards announced earlier yesterday. The other winders were Cha'er Hutong Children's Library and Art Centre in Beijing, China by ZAO, standardarchitecture and Zhang Ke, A place ...

The Mzamba Community Schools / Technical University of Munich

The Mzamba Community Schools in Eastern Cape of South Africa are a community approach to sustainable and 'renewable architecture' by the Technical Department of Munich University towards creating spaces of learning for students in the Mzamba area of Eastern Cape. 

The Craft School / University Build Collective

The Craft School is an effort by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Technical University of Munich, University of Augsburg at sustainable urban living and technological interplay of materials and aesthetics towards achieving a harmonious and intellectually secure school environment. It is often a challenging aspect in developing countries to convincingly pull across a viabl...