The best of African architecture on display

Sunday February 11 2018

Hotel Ivoire Abidjan was featured on the show.

Hotel Ivoire Abidjan was featured on the show. PHOTO | ANDREW KAZIBWE | NATION 

By JEAN-PIERRE AFADHALI
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Kigali is currently hosting a photo exhibition of historical buildings from different parts of Africa with the aim of promoting architecture, culture and preserving buildings.

Pictures displayed at Kandt Museum — the former Museum of Natural History — depict structures built in post-independence Africa around the late 1950s and 1960s.

This is the period when most countries in the continent became self-governed and started designing their own buildings.

Buildings shown in the exhibition titled African Modernism: Architecture of Independence, includes central banks, parliaments, stadiums, universities and independence memorials from five anglophone and francophone countries.

According to Manuel Herz, architect, author and the exhibition’s curator, the design and construction of the buildings was influenced by a tropical climate and an economic boom.

In East Africa, the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Kenya was featured. Structures from Ghana, Senegal, Cote D’Ivoire and Zambia were also on display.

Despite the exhibition being about African architecture, Mr Herz said the architects for most of the buildings were foreigners from countries like Poland, Yugoslavia, Scandinavian nations or Israel.
The exhibition runs until February 28 and will also feature panel discussions on the future of construction and the challenges urbanisation poses, with an emphasis on Kigali city.

Visitors of the exhibition will get a book that details the theme of African Modernism: Architecture of Independence.

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