The Africa Architecture Awards received over 300 entries from 32 African countries for its inaugural edition. Taking place on the rooftop of the new Thomas Heatherwick-designed Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, the ceremony was a celebration of the first pan-African architecture awards heralding a creative wave of onstruction and design across the continent.
The Umkhumbane Museum, in South Africa and designed by Choromanski Architects, won the Grand Prix prize, selected by the jury because the project represented the future of African architecture. Receiving a bronze trophy, final category winners included projects by CEICA (Angola), Aissata Balde, and Ogundare Olawale Israel, both from the Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg.
The awards, which were founded and funded by construction industry innovator Saint-Gobain, have taken two years of preparation and stimulated many conversations about African architecture along the way, thanks to a stellar steering panel headed by professor Lesley Lokko, ambassador Phill Mashabane, advisor Zahira Asmal, and patron Sir David Adjaye and many architects.
‘The Africa Architecture Awards are very critical. Now is the time to promote excellence and best practice on the continent,’ said Adjaye. ‘The awards are particularly important because this is the moment that a lot is happening on the continent in terms of development, in terms of the architecture that’s being produced.’