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HKA | Hermann Kamte & Associates

  HKA | Hermann Kamte & Associates is an award-winning architectural practice based in Yaounde, Cameroon. The practice was founded by Hermann Kamte, a rising star in architecture who seeks to bring a new dynamic to African architecture and introducing it to the international community. HKA is defining future living as it explores sustainable architecture with social impact, devising solutions that enable people and communities to live without negatively impacting their environment. An issue that is of increasing global concern.

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Beazley Designs Of The Year 2017

  Sir David Adjaye has been announced as the overall winner of Beazley Design of the Year 2017, for the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington designed in collaboration with The Freelon Group, Davis Brody Bond, and SmithGroupJJR. Now in its tenth year Beazley Designs of the Year is an annual award and exhibition of the very best in international design held by The Design Museum, the world’s leading museum devoted to contemporary design and architecture; and sponsored by specialty insurers Beazley. 

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A Peaceful Weekend Home In Zimbabwe’s Matobo Hills

  Matobo also known as Matopos in the southern region of Zimbabwe is an area of outstanding natural beauty, known for its imposing gravity-defying granite formations, balancing rock formations created by the gradual erosion of the area’s granite plateau. These formations form the Matobo National Hills a part of the Matobo National Park. The Matobo Hills are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as the area is recognised for the highest concentration of prehistoric rock paintings in Southern Africa. It is also the historical land of King Mzilikazi and his son Lobengula. For lovers of wildlife, the Matobo National Park is […]

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Serpentine Gallery’s Summer Pavilion Designed By Francis Kéré

  The Summer Pavilion at the Serpentine Gallery in London has become a seasonal design highlight designed by the likes of Frank Gehry, Bjarke Ingels, Herzog & de Meuron and the late Zaha Hadid. This year the Summer Pavilion is designed by Francis Kéré, the architect from Burkina Faso who is known for his innovative thought-provoking, interactive and colourful installations. The Summer Pavilion is an open structure where visitors can sit, order food from the food cafe, as well as playing host to a programme of events throughout the summer season.

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Mhondoro Game Lodge Spotlights African Design

  Mhondoro Game Lodge in Welgevonden Reserve, South Africa opened in early 2016 and seeks to move beyond being just another luxury Africa travel bush destination. Designed to give guests a seamless experience of luxury interiors and bushveld landscape Mhondoro Game Lodge combines cutting-edge architecture with some of the best in African design interior inspiration. The Mhondoro Game Lodge was created by interior designer Myriam Vogel who co-owns the lodge with her husband Frank.  

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Eva Sonaike FALOMO Collection Inspired By Mid-Century African Architecture

London- based textile design studio, Eva Sonaike unveiled FALOMO, their latest textile collection at Maison & Object. Featuring a soft spring-fresh colour palette of lilacs, pinks and greys accentuated with bold purple and green hues, the Falomo collection exudes modern African interior design style and is inspired by mid-century African architecture from the late 1940s. Also referred to as ‘Tropical Modernism’, the architectural style combined western building styles with local building traditions.

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Contemporary African Architecture Tradition and Modernity In Libya

The Libya Design Cultural Centre comprises a dynamic group of technicians, designers, craftsmen and builders who utilise all aspects of design, from old, new and futuristic concepts that respect the cultural context within which they work and apply them to their specific projects. The group’s work encompasses a diverse range of disciplines including architecture, graphic design, animation, urban design, furniture, product design, photography and research. [Main image credit: Tripoli Residence – Libya Design Cultural Centre]

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Contemporary African Architecture Designs For Growing African Cities

With the world’s attention on the schoolgirl abductions in Chibok, Nigeria, the right for all to an education has once again been brought to the forefront of global consciousness. It was therefore quite touching to see the Makoko Floating School Project, designed by Architect, Design and Urbanism practice, NLÉ, nominated for the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year Award 2014 in the architecture category. Although it did not win, the Makoko Floating School Project has been heralded as one of the standout projects from the list of nominees, a reflection of NLÉs commitment to providing contemporary African architecture design solutions that respond […]

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Engaging Spaces And Developing Contemporary African Architecture

Diébédo Francis Kéré is a pioneering German-based architect, whose work seeks to bring together the best of African and European architectural methods. Born and raised in Burkina Faso, upon completing school the architect was awarded a scholarship to Germany where he initially studied as a supervisor in the context of development aid. After a period of apprenticeship Diébédo Francis then went on to study architecture at the Technische Universität Berlin, before founding his practice, Kéré Architecture. Having also founded a not-for-profit organisation, Schulbausteine für Gando, loosely translated as ‘Bricks for Gando’, upon graduation Diébédo Francis returned home to Gando, the village he was […]

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Contemporary Architecture In Africa Villaggio II Ghana

In an example of contemporary architecture in Africa Villaggio II, one of Accra’s premium residential developments was shortlisted for the 2012 Best Tall Building Awards, held by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Completed in 2011, the main tower of the development is an imposing block-like structure that stands at 30 storeys high and is the tallest structure of its kind in Ghana and the West African region. The Villaggio II complex was designed by UK based architects, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, and comprises four buildings containing 200 apartments, an office and retail space plus a restaurant and gym. The […]

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Contemporary African Architecture Hilton Windhoek Hotel

One of the main features on MSN UK this morning, was the World Architecture News Hotel of the Year Shortlist, and amongst the chosen was a contemporary African architecture entry, the ultra modern, and quite industrialised looking, Hilton Windhoek Hotel. Situated in the centre of the Namibian city, Windhoek, the Hilton Windhoek Hotel was designed by Wasserfall Munting Architects; a local architectural practice that was founded in 2004 by Jaco Wasserfall and Paul Munting. [Image credit: Hilton Windhoek Hotel – Wasserfall Munting Architects via World Architecture News]

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Contemporary South African Architecture And Interior Design

Happily sitting with the curtains or blinds open long into the night I find lingering by a window gazing at the twinkling lights of the city at night, or snatching glimpses of the world going about its day is one of life’s simple pleasures. And is probably the reason that when it comes to contemporary architectural features; an expanse of glass giving the illusion of having no walls, just floor to ceiling windows in the form of movable glass doors is a dream feature. Opened or closed as you wish, glass walls are a stunning feature that work to seamlessly […]

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Contemporary South African Architecture And Interior Design Style

I love the element of surprise (as long as it’s a good one of course!!); and the Forest Town Long House located in Johannesburg, South Africa rises to the challenge…resembling a large shipping container, this house doesn’t look like much from the entrance approach; however swivel round to the back and what you get is an impressive expanse of open spaces maximising on light, and views that take in a forest of trees and an extensive garden covered with dense foliage. What drew me to the house was the vast sliding door that acts as a removable wall; completely opening up the living space […]

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Contemporary African Architecture Author Lesley Lokko’s Ghana Home

I’ve just finished reading a book called ‘Saffron Skies’ by author Lesley Lokko; whom I came to know of the by chance when I happened to catch a fairly old rerun of the lifestyle show Studio 53, featuring an interview with her. As an avid reader I can’t understand why Lesley Lokko hadn’t crossed my radar before, but a couple of clicks on Google brought me quickly up to speed and having got my hands on a couple of her books I’m definitely making up for lost time! Sweeping tales, offering escapism to some of the world’s most glamorous and intriguing locations, Lesley’ […]

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Koffi & Diabaté Defining Contemporary African Architecture

I don’t know whose houses these are but they are fine examples of contemporary African architecture and design from Koffi & Diabaté; a leading architectural firm based in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Koffi & Diabaté Architect Agency is primarily a partnership between founder and manager, Guillaume Koffi and Issa Diabaté who initially started at the firm as an intern, then became an employee before eventually being made partner. The partners work alongside a team of 18, all sharing ideas to bring the concepts to life. Koffi & Diabaté’s portfolio consists of mainly commercial architecture following the ethos of applying modern architectural methods […]

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Modern African Architecture A Home Built In Celebration Of Love

Building your own house is a dream for many and it is always so interesting to see what people come up with, spanning the range of beautifully inspired interiors to what were they thinking. Whilst browsing one of my favourite blogs – alifemorefabulous – I came across the stunning and innovative home of Ghanaian-born architect Joe Osae-Addo and was immediately struck by the abundant use of natural materials and how open, light and airy the space is. Osae-Addo’s home is a showcase of modern African architecture at its best. [Image credit: dwell/Dook – September 2007]

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  • Eight years ago I started a blog as a place to document the interesting things I was discovering with regards to the design and creativity emerging from Africa. From the moment I created my first blog post little did I know where the journey would take me. Fast-forward to present day I have not only been privileged to witness the development of an industry, but to also have an active role in creating awareness about it.

On this journey, I have seen Africa’s design industry grow from a handful of names from a handful countries to a continent wide-reach. Some names that were just starting out have become internationally respected leaders in their field, whilst behind them, a new generation of names are coming up and claiming their place in the industry.

To say that it is an exciting time for African design and creativity would be a gross understatement! We are in a time of rapid advancement and unbridled creative expression, that is setting the foundations and standards for future generations to build on. And like many other emerging industries in Africa, creativity is opening up opportunities to those who are willing to seize them. And seizing them designers are!

And as Atelier Fifty Five begins a new chapter it is an opportunity for me to renew my commitment to supporting the development of the African design industry and helping those I work with and write about, and work with to fulfill their potential for creating world-class brands. 
I invite you to visit our website to discover more. [Link in bio]

Tapiwa, Founder Atelier Fifty Five
  • Instagram Image
  • Colourful basketry, soulful sculpture and an elegant candle make a nice placeholder we think, as we prepare to usher in a new chapter of the Atelier Fifty Five journey. [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • Gifted hands. A glimpse behind the scenes of Kaross a South African based embroidery initiative, whose artisans transform furnishings into works of art. [📷 credit: Kaross]
  • Tools of the trade, a hand carved printing block stamp by textile designer @juliekouamo whose evocative designs tell the stories of cultures past and present. Julie's textiles feature richly layered patterns, textures and printed pictures that come together to create vibrant collages. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]
  • Fishermen's boats, a familiar sight along the Senegalese coast line. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]

Instagram @ atelierfiftyfive