Yves Saint Laurent Museum / Studio KO

While studying the couturier’s archives, Studio KO became intrigued by the duality between curved and straight lines, and between loose and precise approaches to cutting fabric. The facade of the building appears as an intersection of cubes with a lace-like covering of bricks, creating patterns that recall the weft and warp of fabric. As with the lining of a couture jacket, the interior is radi...

Casa C / Ramos Castellano

Sao Vicente, Cape Verde archipelago, is a volcanic island, dry and arid, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, where the elements of nature are extreme and dominant, technology and hand labor are basic and not very specialized, life is simple and flows slowly, following the cycles of nature. A foreign customer, adventurous and without budget constraints, decided to build a home that contains his...

Africa’s Urban War on Street Vendors and the Missed Opportunity for Social Unity

In most great cities, street vendors are an essential part of urban life. They give a place its texture, its bustle and buzz, even its soul. With the dawn of each new day, on streets and piazzas all over the world, vendors take their places, roasting walnuts, making waffles, grilling hotdogs, setting up makeshift stages for performance or the creation of art. Most of us can’t imagine city life ...

Antonio Esposito Reimagines the New City Of Mengomeyene In Equatorial Guinea With A Series Of Elaborate Graphics

In this set of hand drawings, Antonio Esposito reimagines the city of Mengomeyene in a series of Graphic images for the foundation plan of the new city in Equatorial Guinea.

Pietri Plaza / Kilo Architectures

Situated in the heart of Morocco’s capital city of Rabat, the plaza creates a dynamic new public gathering space which encourages both planned and spontaneous urban and cultural events. Previously, the plaza consisted of the residual space between four vehicular roads. By sinking the core of the plaza and re-attaching two sides of the plaza to pedestrian thoroughfares, we created an urban ‘livi...

Refilwe Business Node Upgrades / Holm Jordaan Architects and Urban Designers

Refilwe nodal transformation forms part of an urban network of upgrades supported by the Neighbourhood Development Partnerships Grant, National Treasury, in the Metsweding area, City of Tshwane. This upgrade albeit a small and humble urban intervention, serves as an example of a local community taking great pride in the renewal of public space.

15 Alice Lane Annex / Paragon Architects

The context of this project had a profound impact on its design. This is the sixth building on the Alice Lane Precinct and sits in the southern corner. An early decision was made to rehabilitate the structure rather than demolish it. There were compelling reasons for doing so, including cost and time benefits.

Lideta Mercato Market / Vilalta Architects

The Lideta Mercato was supposed to be a shopping mall like many in the city of Addis Ababa. After analyzing the existing ones we realized that they have 3 weak points: they are empty because the shops are too big, their glass facades create heating and bring too much light in the inside and their image does not reflect Africa, neither Ethiopia’s character. On the other hand, the Old Mercato of ...

Dyeji Building / Costalopes

The Dyeji Building is part of the Bay of Luanda Parcel 3 development scheme located at the narrowest part of the Ilha do Cabo promontory. The scheme consists of a total of 57 plots (its limits being marked by the Hotel da Marinha in the north-east and the Clube Náutico in the south-west).

Currency Museum / Costalopes

The new Currency Museum is located on the bay waterfront of Luanda, in the heart of the city downtown, at the Major Saidy Mingas Square, nearby the charismatic headquarters of the National Bank of Angola. The program was pretext for two major interventions. On one hand, it disposes the museum spaces below ground, becoming more reserved and quiet. On the other, its roof establishes a new urban s...

Francis Kéré Unveils Burkina Faso's New National Assembly in Ouagadougou

At the 2016 Venice Biennale, Francis Kere unveiled, as part of the exhibition “in search of a new Ouagadougou” the schemes for the design of the Burkina Faso National Assembly. In the transformative time for Burkina Faso, the scheme can be summed as tackling the fundamental question of “How do we move forward”. It consequently not only seeks to address the democratic values of transparency, ope...

Empower Shack / Urban Think Tank

While South Africa is usually seen as a source of stability and prosperity in its region, approximately 7.5 million people live in informal settlements and the country faces an overall housing shortage of 2.5 million units. Arising from this context, Empower Shack is an interdisciplinary development project directed by U-TT and the local NGO Ikhayalami Development Services, in collaboration wit...

Sudanese Students Are Protesting to Save Khartoum’s Historic Architecture

Sudan student protests show how much city planning and design matter. In this article originally published in The Conversation, Amira Osman and Mariam Mohd Abdallah focus on how city planning or lack of thereof in Sudan's main capital is casuign havoc across the city's old historic neighbourhoods.

Residence Andalous / Serge Santelli and Cabinet Gerau

Traditional Tunisian domestic architecture consists of one- or two-level houses arranged around courtyards or patios. To achieve a contemporary expression of these indigenous arrangements for this hotel, the architect created an ordered series of symmetrical interior courtyards connected along a main longitudinal axis, from which secondary axes open. The hotel courtyards are paved, and are ente...

Datum Antique: Sasaki Associates’ Green Lung of Cairo

In 1984, His Highness the Aga Khan announced his decision to finance the creation of a park for the citizens of the Egyptian capital. The only central location that was of suitable scale was the derelict Darassa site, a 30-hectare (74-acre) mound of rubble that had been a debris dump for 500 years. Al-Azhar Park, undertaken by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, has since proven to be both a popula...

The Outreach Foundation Community Centre / Local Studio

The Outreach Foundation Community Centre was completed in early 2015, and is one of the first new social infrastructure projects to be built in Hillbrow since the 1970’s. The project is situated within the broader Hillbrow Lutheran Church/ Friedenskirche precinct, a site given to the Lutheran church by Paul Kruger at the turn of the century. The actual building site is the staggered rooftop of ...

Freedom Park Museum / GAPP + Mashabane Rose Architects + MMA

Situated on a prominent "koppie" (hill) overlooking Tshwane, Freedom Park’s vision is to become “a leading national and international icon of humanity and freedom.” Its Mission is “to provide a pioneering and empowering heritage destination that challenges visitors to reflect upon our past, improve our present and build on our future as a united nation.”(1) At the core of this mission is reconc...

Finding Stories :: The Role of Immaterial Culture in City Planning

On 30 January 2016, AAmatters together with its partners City of Amsterdam, Government of Zanzibar and Stadsherstel Amsterdam, organises the symposium ‘Finding Stories :: the role of immaterial culture in city planning’

Freedom Park, Phase 1 / GAPP + Mashabane Rose Architects + MMA

Situated on a prominent "koppie" (hill) overlooking Tshwane, Freedom Park’s vision is to become “a leading national and international icon of humanity and freedom.” Its Mission is “to provide a pioneering and empowering heritage destination that challenges visitors to reflect upon our past, improve our present and build on our future as a united nation.”(1) At the core of this mission is reconc...

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa MOCAA / Heatherwick Studios

Thomas Heatherwick's new MOCAA establishment in Capetown is almost nearing completion, and the building takes over from what was once one of the tallest building on the Capetown Skyline. Poised to hold one of the most analytic and comprehensive African art collections in the world, the project seeks to give Africa one of its major institutions of African art. Heatherwick tries to mimic the ches...

Maisha Film Garden / Tamassociati

The new headquarters of “Maisha Film Lab” want to synthesize life in cinema and architecture. Starting with the name Maisha, which means ‘life’ in Kiswahili, we thought about the project as a film sequence inspired by the evolution of life.The walking path, which develops in the garden, begins in childhood and develops through different stations in the evolution of the human being until the fin...

The Cities of Cogo & Corisco Master Plans / Page Think Architects

The influence of high modernism and revolutionary schemes to complement growing economies and cities remains a contested issue. Being particularly of concern to fast developing countries and the impact of modernism to societies with rich local traditions and norms, designers cannot shy away from making their contributions to these debate. Drawing master plans and re-envisioning their cities now...

Brixton Studio House / 26'10 South Architects

Thorsten Deckler from the Johannesburg based Architectural studio  26'10 South calls the Brixton House a compact live-work compound for an architect couple and their young children. It represents a well served spatial arrangement that has undergone several changes over its lifetime into a meaningful mixture of retail and residential components is meaningful and well deserved and their ability t...

Taxi Rank No. 2 / 26'10 South Architects

Diepsloot is the kind of environment that requires input from the best, most courageous and inspired architects. It is not every architect who would have the patience and willingness to learn from this environment, or the humility necessary to create opportunities and bring human dignity to it, where it is most needed. The reality is that most people on earth live within conditions of informali...

Malabo New St. Isabel International Airport / Independent Architectural Diplomacy IAD

The MSI New International Airport is the first and last place of exchange between the traveler and his land host; in essence, a large door and approach. From this point of view, the building needs to be prestigious and express the culture and identity of the city or the country it represents, just as a monument, a public place or an official building. At the same time, it is a symbol of technol...

Office of The Auditor General/ Wasserfall Munting Architects

Architecturally speaking, the biggest challenge was to design a building with a language and overall expression befitting the image and status of the office of an auditor general: an uncompromising and distinguished presence, yet restrained, timeless, inclusive and neutral. Other important design considerations were the contribution of the new building to public urban space within the city, and...

Abdel Wahed El-Wakil / The Benefits of Traditional Construction in Contemporary Architecture

One of the foremost students of Hassan Fathy, Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil is an Egyptian architect, who is the recipient of two Aga Khan Awards for Architecture as well as the prestigious 2009 Driehaus Prize. He is considered the foremost practitioner of masonry construction in Islamic architecture today. His commitment to the traditions of construction as an integral component of contemporary archite...

Soweto Theatre / Afritects

You rarely see the impact that social projects ground upon their environment until you hit the ground running. The Soweto theatre is one such project. Setting foot on it is an absolute marvel. It is an art piece in itself and a canvas for art, a duality that theatres have been known for. The theatre is the culmination of both national and global best practices in theatre design. Various local a...

Hilton Hotel Windhoek/ Wasserfall Munting Architects

The new Hilton (Eliakim Namundjebo Plaza) Hotel in Windhoek, Namibia, forms the first phase of the proposed Freedom Square development, an 80,000m² mixed-use precinct in the heart of the capital set to transform the urban face and dynamics of the CBD.

Designing City Resilience

A city’s resilience impacts on the quality of life of its citizens and the health of its economy. Stability and certainty encourage the entrepreneurship, investment and international trade essential to a city’s long-term prosperity and growth.