African Modernism: The Architecture of Independence

Ghana, Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya, Zambia

Manuel Herz

Park Books, Zürich, 2015 (reprint 2023)


During the late 1950s and the early 1960s most of the countries of Central and Subsaharan Africa gained their independence. Architecture became one of the principal means with which the young nations expressed their national identity. Parliament buildings, central banks, stadiums, conference centers, universities and independence memorials were constructed, often featuring heroic and daring designs. Modernistic, and often futuristic architecture mirrored the aspirations and forward looking spirit that was dominant at that time. A coinciding period of economical boom made elaborate construction methods possible while the tropical climate allowed for an architecture that blended the inside and outside, focused on form and the expression of materiality without the need for insulation or heating. The architecture in the capital cities of countries such as Kenya, Ivory Coast, Zambia, Ghana or Senegal still represents some of the best examples of 60s and 70s architecture. Nevertheless it has received little attention and still remains to be ‘rediscovered’. The research project aims at documenting this architectural oeuvre for the first time in an extensive and exhaustive scope.

This groundbreaking new book features 103 buildings with brief descriptive texts, images, site plans and selected floor plans and sections. The vast majority of images, commissioned especially for this book, is contributed by Iwan Baan and Alexia Webster. Their photographs document the buildings in their present state. Each country is portrayed in an introductory text and a timeline of historic events. Further essays on post-colonial Africa and specific aspects and topics, also illustrated with images and documents, round out this outstanding book.

Artikelnummer: 11479 Categorie:

ISBN: 9783038602941

640 pagina's, 909 & kleur 54 z/w illustraties, 246 plannen, 23.5 × 32 cm, paperback, Engels