In recent years, many African nations have focused on infrastructure development. For casual observers, it may seem as if Africa is finally playing catch up with developed nations. However, African architecture has been a little complicated. The mega-cities being constructed today are likely due to the societal demands and the positive response towards innovation.
Many architectural studios, including ZOA ARCHITEKCI, have undertaken building projects to transform African architecture. As cities in Africa become more urbanized, African architects choose high-tech and modern functional and aesthetic designs.
About ZOA ARCHITEKCI
ZOA ARCHITEKCI has been in operation for more than two decades. However, it only recently changed names from OPEN ARCHITEKCI to ZOA ARCHITEKCI. Following its establishment, the team of architects has worked on projects in various countries, with most of their projects found in Polish cities. However, the team has also undertaken various projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, primarily in DRC, Ghana, and Nigeria.
Their project designs cater to their clients’ interests and the environment. Before coming up with a design, the architects at ZOA ARCHITEKCI consider the space and if the design fits the current and future needs of the environment.
Other than the permanent team of architects at ZOA architectural studio, the company also works with architects worldwide, including African architects. So, besides playing a critical role in creating modern homes, commercial, and social structures, the architects are ZOA studio are sharing their experiences and knowledge with local architects.
ZOA ARCHITEKCI Africa Projects
Appolonia is an ambitious urban project which was initiated in 2013 in the new Accra District, Ghana. As the population in urban centres grows in West Africa, the demand for affordable housing and social amenities has increased significantly.
The Appolonia City project covers an expansive area of 941-hectares, just 20km from Acca Central Business District. The African architecture project involves the design of mixed-use commercial and residential buildings.
The development plans include mixed-income homes, which are expected to cater for households of different sizes. 30 hectares were set aside for modern commercial spaces for businesses offering manufacturing, processing, logistics, storage, and other services.
It is estimated that 53% of Ghanaians live in urban centres. Appolonia City seeks to provide affordable housing and employment opportunities. Additionally, the expansion of social amenities ensures that the pressure on existing facilities eases.
Social and Cultural Centre, Warri, Nigeria
This local cultural centre, located in Delta State, has been in construction since 2015. It covers an area of 1,700m2. This project was initiated to meet the recreation needs of the members of this community. The architects sought to create a complex that included a recreational swimming pool, a sports centre, and space for residents to meet for workshops.
Kalemie City Development Study, DRC
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has undergone rapid environmental degradation that has caused the water table to rise. The architects at ZOA ARCHITEKCI tried to find a balance when creating the Kalemie project. The design had to be sustainable, considering the changes in the environment and the social-economic needs of the community living close to the development site.
The Kalemie city project covers an expansive area of 30,000km2. The project is divided into 40 Macro villages for easier management, with the largest covering 100 hectares. Upon its completion, the largest village is expected to accommodate 25,000 people. The facilities in this area will include hospitals, markets, schools, places of worship, cultural centres, and recreational centres.
The King City project is another ambitious African architecture project undertaken by ZOA ARCHITEKCI in Ghana. This project is located in the new Takoradi District, and it covers an expansive 1000 hectares.
During the design stage, the architects considered the natural environment. They tried to find ways to use the greenery in the area to act as a buffer against harsh climatic conditions. The architects also opted to use locally available materials to ensure the project’s sustainability and keep the costs as low as possible.
Since one of the motives is to provide affordable modern housing, the design of the houses is practical and of different sizes. This way, homeowners get to buy a home that fits their household and budget.
The scale of projects that ZOA ARCHITEKCI has undertaken in Africa is undeniably massive. Many African architects appreciate the opportunity such projects accord them since they provide local expertise and learn how best to approach such projects.
Mario el Africano …around Africa