Africa Architecture Awards

The first Pan-African architecture prize, the Africa Architecture Awards, finals on the 28th September 2017.

The inaugural Africa Architecture Awards is noteworthy as the first dedicated Pan-African awards programme of its kind. Launched by founder Saint-Gobain, the awards aim to recognise and reward worthy projects from across the African continent, with one overall winner garnering a $10 000 grand prize.

The 2017 Africa Architecture Awards seek to acknowledge standout architectural projects that have been conceived of and/or built on the African continent.

“Saint-Gobain very simply wants to be the catalyst that brings African architecture and its diaspora into the global conversation, in response to the clear need for such dialogue,” explains Evan Lockhart-Barker, the Managing Director of the Saint-Gobain Retail Business Development Initiative.

To this end, the awards programme has key collaborators like global heavyweight Sir David Adjaye OBE of Adjaye Associates as the official Patron, a stellar Steering Panel and Advisory team comprising noteworthy academics and architects, and a formidable Master Jury of award-winning practitioners drawn from across Africa and the diaspora.

View the AAA shortlist Finalists below:

The seven members of the Master Jury are: Anna Abengowe (Nigeria); Patti Anahory (Cape Verde); Guillaume Koffi (Cote d’Ivoire); Phill Mashabane (South Africa); Professor Mark Olweny (Uganda); Professor Edgar Pieterse (South Africa); and, Tanzeem Razak (South Africa).

Rather than adopt the more conventional categories of other global awards programmes, the Master Jury will approach the Africa Architecture Awards through a values-based system around the following three criteria:

  • Innovation– of design, materials, approach, practice, new forms of public space;
  • Identity– projects that deal sensitively and innovatively with heritage and tradition; that embody cultural sensitivity and contextual interpretation; that consider appropriation and repurposing of use; and that attempt to translate traditional ways of building/occupying space into modern and contemporary contexts;
  • Implementation– the energy and inventiveness required in Africa to create and implement projects in markets with varying levels and scales of economic government support and infrastructure.

As a discipline, architecture has immense potential to shape, solve and innovate in Africa, in the 21st Century. With 54 countries all varied in culture, geography, climate and societal structure, this diversity enables prospects that can and will shape Africa’s built environments – and in so doing, will provide points of inspiration for the rest of the globe. The aim of the first ever Africa Architecture Awards is to identify and honour projects that are doing precisely that!

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