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The inaugural Africa Architecture Awards has just shared with us the 20 shortlisted projects out of an unprecedented 307 entered projects situated in 32 African countries.
The inaugural Africa Architecture Awards, founded by Saint-Gobain , attracted an unprecedented number of entries for an architecture awards programme in its first edition. More than 500 projects registered to enter the awards before the closing date of 14 July 2017, and a total of 307 projects from across the continent, situated in 32 African countries, completed the registration process and qualified to enter.
All 307 projects have since been published on Africa Architecture Awards, with the awards website now acting as a repository of thought-provoking projects spanning the African continent. As a yardstick to gauge the depth and breadth of contemporary African architectural practice, the site alone is an invaluable resource, visited by over 40 000 unique users from mid-May to end-July 2017, with 800-1000 unique visitors accessing the site per day.
“The Africa Architecture Awards,” explains Evan Lockhart-Barker, the Managing Director of the Saint-Gobain Retail Business Development Initiative, “have been established to highlight the continent’s innovative and collaborative style of solving problems – architectural or otherwise. Saint-Gobain has engaged with some of the best minds in the field to establish this programme, so that the awards are relevant, contextual and progressive. We are more than thrilled to see the response that the competition has received to date.”
On 27 July 2017, the awards announced a shortlist of 20 projects, which now stand in line for a trophy in either the Built, Speculative, Emerging Voices or Critical Dialogue category; or, the overall Grand Prix award of USD$10 000. There were 139 entries in the Built category, 91 entries in the Speculative category, 44 entries in the Emerging Voices category and 34 entries in the Critical Dialogue category.
The shortlist was chosen by a Master Jury comprising a Pan-African panel of architects and industry experts, including: Anna Abengowe (Nigeria), Guillaume Koffi (Côte d’Ivoire), Professor Edgar Pieterse (South Africa), Patti Anahory (Cape Verde), Professor Mark Olweny (Uganda), Tanzeem Razak (South Africa), and Phill Mashabane (South Africa).
The 20 shortlisted projects are as follows:
Following the awards ceremony, a public colloquium titled Celebrating Architecture in Africa will be held to discuss the winning projects and explain why they were chosen. This event will take place on 29 September 2017 at the Institute for Creative Arts at UCT Hiddingh Campus in Cape Town from 09h00. Participants include members of the Steering Panel and Master Jury for the Africa Architecture Awards. Admission is free.