A comparative study of Africa’s state buildings
UNDERSTANDING STATEHOOD THROUGH ARCHITECTURE
Buildings shape politics, articulating power-relations in the ways they are designed, built and used.
Africa's state buildings – from parliaments, ministries and presidential palaces to courts, public records offices and police stations – reflect the complexities and ambiguities of the politics of its states.
Building Africa: the exhibition
Building Africa explores the relationship between architecture and politics. It tells stories about presidential palaces, courts, parliaments, a school, a sports stadium, airports and the African Union building itself and explains how they build political institutions and identities around the continent.
The exhibition is based on findings from a five-year research project at SOAS, which has been interpreted by design-teams from Ethiopia, South Africa and Ghana, each one producing an installation that explores local responses to the buildings.