Africa Architecture Awards Announce Shortlisted Projects From Over 300 Submissions

The inaugural Africa Architecture Awards announces 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.

The Africa Architecture Awards Shortlist 2017 was announced on 27 July by the awards’ Ambassador, Phill Mashabane, along with the unveiling of the awards’ official bronze cast trophy at the Workhorse Bronze Foundry in Johannesburg.

All 307 projects have since been published on, 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 trophy is a 3D cast bronze of the icon. 4 winners will take one home with them on the 28th of September when the category winners from the 20 shortlisted finalists will be announced.

Thus far, over 450 African broadcast, print and digital publications have given published attention to the awards. More than 100 000 people have participated in the public voting component of the Africa Architecture Awards People’s Choice award. Only one vote per person per day is permitted and voting closes on 18 August 2017.

Although still in its infancy, this ambitious awards programme has already become one of the most successful architecture awards programmes on the continent – and it hasn’t yet announced its winners. It is also the only one of its kind due to its Pan-African scope; it being the first to invite entries from across Africa, for any project that pertains to Africa, regardless of where the architectural firm is located.

Evan Lockhart-Barker, Managing Director of the Saint-Gobain Retail Business Development Initiative, at the announcement event

“The Africa Architecture Awards 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.”

-Evan Lockhart-Barker, Managing Director of the Saint-Gobain Retail Business Development Initiative

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:

Dakar Conference Centre, Senegal – by Tabanlioglu Architects


New Eye Sight Hospital, Republic of Congo – by Boogertman + Partners


  • Ecree, Ecowski Centre for Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency, Cape Verde – by Fernando Mauricio Dos Santos
  • New Eye Sight Hospital, Republic of Congo – by Boogertman + Partners
  • Kigali Genocide Memorial, Rwanda – by Mass Design Group
  • The Territory Inbetween, South Africa – by Aissata Balde
  • Beyond Entropy, Angola – by Paula Nascimento
Re-think Makoko, Lagos – by Mohamed Waheed Fareed Abdelfatah, Helwan University, Egypt

Emerging Voices

  • The Embassy of Mantanhas – Eclectic Atlases, Cape Verde – by Stephanie Ryder, Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg
  • Architecture of Crisis: Windhoek Community Boreholes – by Elao Martin, Namibia University of Science and Technology
  • Re-think Makoko, Lagos – by Mohamed Waheed Fareed Abdelfatah, Helwan University, Egypt
  • The Monolith of Kasolo, Democratic Republic of the Congo – by Federico Fauli, Architectural Association, School of Architecture, London
  • The Exchange Consulate: Trading Passports for Hyper-Performative Economic Enclaves, South Africa – by Ogundare Olawale Israel
Revolution Room – by Visual Arts Network, South Africa & Waza Arts Centre, Democratic Republic of Congo

Critical Dialogue

  • Design Indaba, South Africa – by Interactive Africa
  • APSAIDAL – by Ebano Wey Ekame Ikuga, Spain
  • Forum de Arquitectura – by Ceica, Angola
  • The Journey of Design and Critical Dialogue. Securing the Presence of Urban Livelihoods – by Richard Dobson, South Africa
  • Revolution Room – by Visual Arts Network, South Africa & Waza Arts Centre, Democratic Republic of Congo

The trophy winners in each of the four entry categories, and the overall grand prize, will be announced at a gala awards ceremony to be held at the newly opened Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) in Cape Town. The architects of each of the 20 shortlisted projects will be flown to Cape Town by Saint-Gobain to attend the awards ceremony, which will be held on 28 September 2017.

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.

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