The History Behind 'African Modernism: The Architecture of Independence'
The current exhibition at the Graham Foundation highlights the international and vernacular architecture juxtaposed throughout the continent.

Development in post-colonial Africa races on mostly free of zoning and building codes, said South African architect and author Lesley Lokko during her March 23 talk, “Tropical Antics,” at the Graham Foundation, in Chicago. For example, the Miesian mudhouse Lokko built for herself 15 years ago in Accra, Ghana, joined a block of colonnaded McMansions and outlandish hybrid housing styles.

Her presentation was part of an ongoing series of events accompanying the foundation’s current exhibition, “African Modernism: The Architecture of Independence,” which explores Africa’s often-overlooked modernist architecture and their haphazard origins. Between 1957 and 1966, 32 African nations declared their independence from European colonial powers. As elected governments painted a face of progress through public works that largely bypassed the notions of bush-and-village Africa, most of the Western world missed it.

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architags.follower.special Nr.21 :

(1) Independence Square. Public Works Departments. Accra. Ghana (2) Mfantsipim School. Fry, Drew and Partners. Cape Coast. Ghana. (3) International Trade Fair. Chyrosz & Rymaszewski. Accra. Ghana. photos & book edited by: Manuel Herz. source: African Modernism - Architecture of Independence. project for: ekow6446join architags-special and add your city !

David Adjaye’s review of Manuel Herz’s publication, “African Modernism

The dearth of literature on African architecture has long been a source of frustration for the continent’s design community. The last decade, however, has seen a gradual change, as young designers witness the stunning rise of African metropolitan centers like Lagos, which has now surpassed Cairo as Africa’s largest city, and have become eager to engage with narratives of post-colonialism. These days, investors are directing enormous resources to the continent’s development, energizing its cities and opening up a new era in its urbanization. A similar wave of hope during the era of African independence in the 1950s and ’60s inspired the continent’s leaders to commission ambitious and extraordinary buildings that might elevate their nations to the world stage. The architects who designed these works were, in large part, imported from Europe, North America, and Israel, and they came with their own ideologies and biases, modulating them—genuinely or otherwise—to suit the local climates, cultures, and conditions. […]

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