Monday, October 31, 2011

Anam City

According to their website and blog "...ANAM city is a dynamic model for sustainable development that balances ecology with economic growth, delivers world-class quality of life across generations and leverages technology within the African culture of collective progress.

ANAM is simultaneously a model city and a new model for sustainable development in Africa. It is a project that fundamentally reorganizes society in order to bring about real and lasting change. It is an alternative paradigm — variably referred to as agropolitan or rurban in development planning circles — that combines the benefits of modern urban living with those of rural communities and traditional productive landscapes. It is at its core an initiative to generate local economic opportunity, but it is equally a strategy for using technology — within an integrated logics framework for conceptualizing the African city — to improve people’s lives..."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

African Frescoes

These amazing photos of West African Frescoes created by the Gurunsi women of Tiebele for decorating their traditional adobe homes also share similar geometric pattern with shapes found on the calabashes of Fulani women. These motifs can also be found on the frescoes of traditional adobe buildings found in Northern Ghana, Niger, Northern Nigeria and Cameroon.

Paragon Architects

According to their website "...Paragon Architects is a dynamic and innovative architectural design business, based in Johannesburg / South Africa, and active since 1997. It is the originator of the Paragon Group of design businesses.

We love what we do, and it shows. Our work is driven by true passion for the process of architecture, and by a hands-on engagement with all opportunities presented in the modern building industry. We believe that the true measure of our skill is our ability to engage at all levels and with all players that make up the colourful world of construction.

Our buildings look forward. We embrace the future, because we will be a part of it. With its problems and responsibilities, and with its great freedoms and achievements.

Most of all, we have not lost our sense of humour, and we are genuinely optimistic. Our work and our business conduct have a solid and consistent ethical basis, and we consider ourselves as generalists.

Our business has been built on our willingness to apply our knowledge to almost any design task, and we have completed buildings and projects of many different types in almost all property industry sectors. Our current core competencies lie in the design of workplace environments, specifically head offices, along with retail, sports and leisure architecture.

We have expanded our operational footprint beyond Southern Africa into Africa, and have specific current project interests in Angola, Ghana, Uganda and Rwanda. In 2009, we established a practice under the name of Paragon Arquitetura in Brazil.

Paragon Architects is known for being flexible and diverse in its approach to design. Our work is not style-driven, but lifestyle-driven. Elegant and efficient planning are at the core of our designs.

We understand the needs of our commercial developer clients, and know how to find ever new architectural forms in a competitive property market. To this extent, our work is fashion-driven, and we move forward from project to project, as our skills grow and our clients’ trust in our ability grows.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Soweto Theatre

According to Afritects Architects "....The Soweto Theatre is to provide equitable access to arts & culture facilities for the residents of Soweto, the largest satellite district of the city of Johannesburg. The aspirational characteristic of the first public building in Soweto was highlighted as necessitating a unique response calling for a building that the community would take ownership of and feel invited to use and enjoy.
This was answered through an assembly of forms that directly responded to their function whilst exposing their interior connective tissue of ambulatory lobbies to the curious eyes of a passerby. This legibility is contradictory to the standard theatre prototype.The architectural concept arises from solidifying the existing pathways of people through the site when travelling between home and work.
The form has two fortress walls that contain ancillary spaces and hold the three different core theatre venues: a 90-seater, a 180-seater and an auditorium of 430 seats. Unlike others of its type, this is not a solid secret box but exposes all its contents: from everywhere you can identify each of the theatre boxes and also relate to the exterior through the light fissures between the forms.
Each theatre box is clearly identifiable through its primary colours of yellow, blue and red, rendered through ceramic tiles.
The quasi-moiré pattern effect is achieved through using two different tones in both matt and gloss; the resulting basket weave pattern glistens with the sun rays and glimmers at night as car lights reflect off it. This beguiling effect is intended to parallel an African dancer with its glimmering torso and flashes of body adornments.
Sustainability is addressed through the determined use of local labour; the patterned application of the tiles both stretches and develops local skills; finally, the ceramic tiles through their colour fastness will withstand the African sun for 100 years. The main foyer is an outside tent-covered area signifying ‘event’ and where ‘teaser’ performances can happen to entice people...."