African Architectural Design

pyramid stones by Serge Owona EgyptThe triangular majesty of Egyptian pyramids is the image that first emerges into modern minds when African architecture is mentioned although as someone suggested, it is often forgotten that Egypt is on the African continent. However, there is much more to African architecture than the iconic North African Pharaoh tombs. The various kingdoms and empires that have existed across Africa across time have left impressive designs and techniques, some of which have defied time and made modern designs reinvent themselves.

Discover African Architecture beyond the Egyptian Pyramids

High Minaret of a traditional mosk made of mud in Mali, West Africa ArchitectureDiscover the Matakam cylindrical huts in Cameroon, the circular huts of the Sotho people of Lesotho. Unearth the impressive mud mosques and other Islamic monuments of Niger, Mali, Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) and beyond. Notice the varied attention to detail and styles in the decoration of Bamileke chiefs’ houses, Hausa homes and South African Ndebele villages. Visit the rock-hewn churches of Ethiopia. Uncover so much more… When you have quenched your thirst at the source of traditional African architecture, rediscover it as it re-invents itself, inspired by both worlds it sits between, fusing the teachings of its many traditions and the resources and knowledge from the outside worlds.

The Great Mud Mosque in Mali

Discover the kinds of buildings you only imagine in fairy tales and you try to recreate near a beach. These sand castles are not mere constructions that stand or fall at the whims of the waves. They are sturdy monuments that have perdured for thousands of years such as the Great Mud Mosque in Djenné in the country of Mali.

Photo taken by Ruud Zwart, CC BY-SA 3.0

The Western Deffufa in Sudan

The mud brick Western Deffufa at Kerma, Sudan, dates from 1750-1480 BC. You can dfind more about Sudan here.

Photo by David Stanley – Flicker

Monk's Huts in Ethiopia

The Monk’s Huts in Ethiopia are just amazing. The way they rise from the grounds, as if they always belonged to it, is a testament to the craftsmanship and creativity of the Ethiopian people.

Photo by Rod Waddington

A place called Nalut in Libya

This place called Nalut in Libya is so intrinsic to its natural surrounding that it makes it look like it has unearthed the bare bones of nature.