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  • Joia Preciosa

Architecture in Africa

Architecture and design in African countries have a long and rich history.

From the ancient pyramids of Egypt to the modern skyscrapers of Johannesburg, Africa has a proud tradition of building beautiful things.


African architecture is characterized by its diversity. For exemple the ancient structures in Zimbabwe or the modern buildings in South Africa, each country has its own unique style.


There are a few general characteristics that can be found in African architecture.

First, it is typically less formal than European architecture.

Second, African architecture is often characterized by its use of natural materials, such as wood, clay, stone and local materials.


African architecture is often associated with the continent's traditional cultures.

This architecture is often designed to reflect the local environment and culture.


The pyramids of Egypt are known throughout the world but much of African architecture remains unknown.


Here are some African architectural :


Hikma complex, Niger

The Architect Mariam Kamara collaborated with Yasaman Esmaili to restore an old Hausa mosque that had fallen into disrepair, adding community space and a library.



Kasubi Tombs, Uganda

Kasubi Royal Complex is the burial place of the monarchs of Buganda Kingdom.

It was constructed mainly of wood and other organic materials. The interior is designed to replicate a sacred forest and is topped with 52 circular rings to represent each of Buganda's 52 clans.



Palace of Emperor Fasilides, Ethiopia

This castle is located in the city of Gondar, in the north of Ethiopia, in a fortified enclosure known as "Fasil Ghebbi" . The site includes about twenty palaces, royal buildings, churches, monasteries and unique buildings elaborately decorated.


Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre, South Africa

Set in a rocky landscape within Mapungubwe National Park, the center won South African architect Peter Rich the 2009 Building of the Year award at the World Architecture Festival.



Great Mosque of Djenne, Mali

A monument of Islam, the Grand Mosque is the largest earthen structure in the world. The mosque is a symbol of the city of Djenne it is also the greatest achievement of Sudano-Sahelian architecture .



Hillbrow Tower Johannesburg, South Africa

An unofficial symbol of Johannesburg, the 833-foot-tall (269-meter) Hillbrow Tower was once a must-see tourist attraction for its sweeping views of the city. The tower also had a luxurious slow-rotating restaurant at the top, as well as another luxurious non-rotating restaurant. Unfortunately, for security reasons, the tower was closed to the public in 1981.


Africa has many beautiful architectural constructions and listing them all in this article would be endless. Do not hesitate to share in comment the constructions that you had the opportunity to see or the one that inspires you.

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