The undeniable success of Marvel’s Black Panther film has propelled Afrofuturism into the limelight, with more and more people fascinated by the movement centered on the fusion of African culture and technology.
By entering popular culture, more and more artists, designers, musicians and architects are recognized to celebrate the uniqueness of African heritage through their work.
Afrofuturism in architecture
In this overview, we explore the mega-structures that defend Afrofuturism – presidential memorials to contemporary art museums.
Located in Angola’s largest city, the great concrete mausoleum was built in honor of Angola’s first president, Agostinho Neto. The brutalist monolith dominates the city and commemorates the nationalist president’s contributions to the liberation of Angola from colonial rule.
Known for its rich culinary culture, Ouagadougou is also home to the Pantheon of the Martyrs of the Revolution. It was originally called the Monument of National Heroes, until 2014, when Acting President of Burkina Faso Michael Kafando renamed it in memory of the victims of the 2014 coup. it has a silhouette reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower, the monument is more like a spaceship that is preparing to embark on the future.
Designed to reflect the democratic state of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta’s president has mandated the Kenyatta International Convention Center to guarantee Kenya’s independence and autonomy. The center consists of a 28-storey building and a superb amphitheater, inspired by traditional Kenyan timber-framed houses. The center uses even more African terracotta on its facade.
Serving six Central African countries, the Bank of Central African States stands majestically on the rooftops of Yaounde. Boasting a glass facade and a tower-like structure, its authoritarian presence symbolizes the rapid pace of Africa’s progress and development as it reaches new heights, both literally and figuratively.
The largest museum of contemporary African art in the world, the new contemporary art museum Zeitz Africa is located on the docks of Cape Town. It takes a postmodern form with its concrete exterior surmounted by prismatic windows. The massive building is ready to accommodate the best work of the booming art industry in the region, making African art an international scene.
The Serpentine Gallery houses an impressive range of architectural gems. The masterpiece of Diébédo Francis Kéré deserves a place on our list for its beautiful representation of the heritage of Burkina Faso architect. Made with prefabricated wooden blocks, the roof is inspired by a tree that served as a meeting point for the community of Gado, the city of the architect. Triangular patterns fill the curved walls, painted blue to symbolize Gado’s ceremonial garments, creating a peaceful community space open to all.