The winners of the inaugural Africa Architecture Awards have been announced. Established by St. Gobain with the goal of “stimulating conversations about African architecture as it cements its place in a global continuum,” the event represents the first ever Pan-African awards program of its kind, with more than 300 projects from 32 African nations being considered by a steering panel led by Professor Lesley Lokko, ambassador Phill Mashabane, advisor Zahira Asmal, and architect David Adjaye.
“The Africa Architecture Awards are very critical,” said Adjaye. “Now is the time to promote excellence and best practice on the continent. The Africa Architecture Awards are particularly important because this is the moment that a lot is happening on the continent in terms of development, in terms of the architecture that’s being produced.”
An initial shortlist of 21 projects was chosen earlier in 2017 by the competition jury, which comprised leading African architects and academics including Anna Abengowe (Nigeria), Guillaume Koffi (Côte d’Ivoire), Professor Edgar Pieterse (South Africa), Patti Anahory (Cape Verde), Tanzeem Razak (South Africa), and Phill Mashabane (South Africa).
From those 21 projects, winners were chosen in 4 categories, with an overall Grand Prix winner taking home the top prize of $10,000 USD. Find the list of winners below.
Built and Grand Prix Winner
Umkhumbane Museum, South Africa / Choromanski Architects
Forum de Arquitectura / CEICA, Angola
The Territory In-between, Cape Verde / Guinea’s Aissata Balde, Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg
The Exchange Consulate: Trading Passports for Hyper-Performative Economic Enclaves, South Africa / Nigerian student Ogundare Olawale Israel of the Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg
“Although this is only the first edition of the Africa Architecture Awards, we believe we have captured an incredible moment in time for Pan-African architecture,” commented MD of Saint-Gobain Retail Division, Evan Lockhart-Barker. “Having launched the first-ever awards of its kind, we’ve seen the incredible response from architects working across the continent. The values and aspirations displayed in the awards have led to incredible insights about the continent and its shape-shifting ways.”
“Yet we still have a way to go to write our own story about architecture and its role here. Africa is indeed rising… but due to the continent’s resourcefulness and complex regional identities, we’ve already learnt that our awards programme requires even more diversity to capture Africa and all its spectrums. We look to future editions of the awards to achieve this.”
More information about the awards can be found on the official website, here.