Inaugural Africa Architecture Awards announces 20 shortlisted projects

31 July 2017

An unprecedented 307 projects qualified to enter the inaugural Africa Architecture Awards, founded by Saint-Gobain.

All 307 projects have since been published on, with the awards website now acting as a repository of thought-provoking projects spanning the African continent.

Thus far, over 450 African broadcast, print and digital publications have given published attention to the awards and more than 100 000 people have participated in the public voting component of the Africa Architecture Awards People’s Choice award. Voting closes on 18 August 2017.

“The Africa Architecture Awards,” explains Evan Lockhart-Barker, the Managing Director of the Saint-Gobain Retail Business Development Initiative, “have been established to highlight the continent’s innovative and collaborative style of solving problems – architectural or otherwise.”

On 27 July 2017, the awards announced a shortlist of 20 projects, which now stand in line for a trophy in either the Built, Speculative, Emerging Voices or Critical Dialogue category; or, the overall Grand Prix award of USD$10 000. There were 139 entries in the Built category, 91 entries in the Speculative category, 44 entries in the Emerging Voices category and 34 entries in the Critical Dialogue category.

The Master Jury comprised a Pan-African panel of architects and industry experts, including: Anna Abengowe (Nigeria), Guillaume Koffi (Côte d’Ivoire), Professor Edgar Pieterse (South Africa), Patti Anahory (Cape Verde), Professor Mark Olweny (Uganda), Tanzeem Razak (South Africa), and Phill Mashabane (South Africa).

The 20 shortlisted projects are as follows with South Africa entries highlighted.


  • One Airport Square, Ghana – by MCA Architects
  • Thread: Artists’ Residency and Cultural Centre, Senegal – by Toshiko Mori Architect
  • Dakar Conference Centre, Senegal – by Tabanlioglu Architects
  • Umkhumbane Museum, South Africa – by Choromanski Architects
  • Out of the Box Partnerships, Ethiopia – by Parallel Solutions


  • Ecree, Ecowski Centre for Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency, Cape Verde – by Fernando Mauricio Dos Santos
  • New Eye Sight Hospital, Republic of Congo – by Boogertman + Partners
  • Kigali Genocide Memorial, Rwanda – by Mass Design Group
  • The Territory Inbetween, South Africa – by Aissata Balde
  • Beyond Entropy, Angola – by Paula Nascimento

Emerging Voices

  • The Embassy of Mantanhas – Eclectic Atlases, Cape Verde – by Stephanie Ryder, Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg
  • Architecture of Crisis: Windhoek Community Boreholes – by Elao Martin, Namibia University of Science and Technology
  • Re-think Makoko, Lagos – by Mohamed Waheed Fareed Abdelfatah, Helwan University, Egypt
  • The Monolith of Kasolo, Democratic Republic of the Congo – by Federico Fauli, Architectural Association, School of Architecture, London
  • The Exchange Consulate: Trading Passports for Hyper-Performative Economic Enclaves, South Africa – by Ogundare Olawale Israel

Critical Dialogue

  • Design Indaba, South Africa – by Interactive Africa
  • APSAIDAL – by Ebano Wey Ekame Ikuga, Spain
  • Forum de Arquitectura – by Ceica, Angola
  • The Journey of Design and Critical Dialogue. Securing the Presence of Urban Livelihoods – by Richard Dobson, South Africa
  • Revolution Room – by Visual Arts Network, South Africa & Waza Arts Centre, Democratic Republic of Congo

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