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25 Elements of Traditional Igbo Architecture: Udochukwu Anidobu


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NOW OPEN: CPDI Africa Heritage Architecture Competition 2021

Introduction: Have you ever imagined what the architecture of Africa would look like today, if the great civilizations of Egypt, Timbuktu, Mali, the Dogon, Zulu, Yoruba, and thousands of other African empires had continued to develop and evolve in their own unique identity? Imagine the transformation of the African landscape into sprawling metropolises filled with architectural masterpieces celebrating new interpretations of traditional design elements, portrayed with all the comfort of modern innovations and technique. The Community Planning & Design Initiative Africa (CPDI Africa) 2021 culture-inspired, research-based design competition aims to promote the development of new architectural languages for the African Diaspora that are culturally and environmentally sustainable. What Africa would you build if given the opportunity to develop African skylines in her own image? Eligibility: The CPDI Africa 2021 competition is open to both students and practitioners of architecture and

CPDI Africa Global Studio: The Premiere Academy for Teaching African Centered Design & Architecture!

CPDI Africa Global Studio, the Premiere Academy for Teaching a New Pedagogy in African Centered Architecture. Virtual certificate programs. Culturally diverse curriculum. Distinguished professors. Study abroad in Africa. Scholarship programs. Available now: courses in History & Critical Theory, Design Studio, CAD, BIM, Sustainable Design and Design-Build practicals during our summer Study Abroad sessions in Africa. To learn more visit us online, and do inquire about our Scholarship Programs.  CpdiAfrica.Org Global Studio for African Centered Architecture: A CPDI AFRICA INITIATIVE. #AfricanHeritageArchitecture #CPDIAfrica #AfricanArchitecture #CulturalArchitecture #Architecture

Comfort in an African Home

So much research has gone into the connection between mental and physical health in relation to greenery within the built environment. Experiencing nature through its green outdoor spaces has been linked to reduced heart and respiratory diseases, higher happiness levels and stronger societal bonds. However, living in urban areas nowadays limits the number of green spaces one can have physical or even visual access to. Our living conditions have turned inwards, such that most of our activities are carried out indoors, with little regard to the outdoors. To this end, the large windows we typically find in contemporary buildings are not only for daylighting and ventilation, but also for maintaining a visual connection to the outdoors. However, the positive benefits to be gained from looking outside through a window depend on the nature of the built environment and whether the outdoors are worth gazing at. Most traditional African homes had one vestibule entrance and tiny openings as windo

Elements of Traditional Hausa Architecture

Emir's Palace Kano. Image:  ⓒ Hauwa Mahmoud Hausa architecture, as dictated by culture, is traditionally designed to be inward-looking in order to maximize privacy. Residential architecture is characterized by high walls with openings few and small, large courtyards, and entrance porches meant to welcome but keep out strange male visitors from the inner private quarters. These features usually have the double function of ensuring privacy, which is an important consideration in Hausa architecture. They also aid temperature regulation which is vital in the hot and arid regions of the West African Sahel where the Hausas are predominantly located. Plan and layout of Emir's Palace, Kano    Dmochowski 1990 The layout of a traditional  Hausa residence rarely takes a defined shape. This flexibility allows for expansion as needed as most households tend to be polygamous. However, there are certain features that are consistent in any layout no matter how big or small.

How does architecture differ in ethnic groups split by country borders?

Have you heard about Africa before? Not the Africa you see on TV, but the real Africa. Contrary to the conventional view of Africa as a homogeneous entity, it is the continent with the highest number of countries, and it is highly rich in ethnic diversity as shown by the map below. Map of the World’s most and least diverse countries | Source: Washington Post , Data source: Harvard Institute for Economic Research.  So what if you found out that most country borders aren’t physical walls but a figment of our imagination? You’d probably look to maps to prove that borders exist. But before maps of Africa with country borders were produced, there were people - people with different languages and cultures. There are about 2,000 languages spoken across more than 3,000 ethnic groups in Africa. Numerous maps have been created to illustrate just how diverse the continent is. If you’d like to explore other facts about Africa’s diversity, this article is for you. Map of ethnic gr


CPDI Africa is PROUD to Announce our 2017 African Architecture Competition Winners: Our Geniuses Have Emerged!! We Celebrate architect Aisha Aminu, 1st place with INARA House; architects Olalekan Afolabi and Olalekan Ileola-Gold 2nd place, with The ITAN Complex; and architects Chitani Ndisale, Kouyate Toure and Muhammad Shehata 3rd place, with The EKYANZ House! Congratulations to all of our Honorable Mention Winners, we look forward to Celebrating your Genius with our Upcoming Awards, Exhibitions, Internships, Consultancies and Publications. Thank You CPDI Africa Distinguished Jury Members, Partners, Sponsors, Team Members, as we continue to Celebrate Africa's' Voice in the Global Built Environment! Nmadili Okwumabua, Founder, CPDI Africa!


"YALAM" , the name of the said courageous leader of the JARAWA nation who migrated from political unrest around Bornu-Chad region during the regime of Shehu Ali Ghaji, inspired the the label of my design, something that was almost lost is to have base from the very origin, thus provide befitting foundation to build upon. Courage, and determination to a cause is one attribute JARAWA nation are known for, this quality i can find in the very leader of my ancestors that seek peace, and favorable atmosphere to grow as a people and explore their gifts in trade and craftmanship. Play video below to watch the design Quick Animation. The concept of "YALAM JAR CULTURAL RESORT" in FLOOR LAYOUT PLAN was inspired by the arewa logo and it fusion with the structure of an atom. Arewa to show our geographical location where we are mostly living and the atom as smallest indivisible unit of matter to show our strength in unity. And in elevation was inspired by a collection of some Jar

The GIDAN - HAUSA RESORT AND CULTURAL CENTER: CPDI 2020 Internship Design by Hauwa Mahmoud

The Hausa Resort and Cultural Center aims to capture the essence of Hausa culture at a glance given the visitor an immersive experience at one location. Drawing inspiration from the layout of a typical Hausa city, and more specifically inspired by the Emir’s Palace in Kano, the resort has been laid out as a mini gated city that captures various activities that highlight Hausa culture and architecture. Play video below to watch the design  Quick Animation. Conceptual Statement The Gidan Hausa Resort and Cultural Center is designed to give the visitor an experience of Hausa culture from the large scale i.e. the city with its robust activities to the small scale of the home with its intimacy and privacy. Play video below to watch the full design Presentation. 15 elements of Hausa architecture incorporated into the design of the resort Illustration of the main entrance  Illustration of a villa entrance View from within a courtyard in a private villa Read also some of Hauwa research wor

True Leaders in Afrocentric Design: Africa's Women in Architecture.

MARIAM KAMARA:  African Architectures Leading Architect! As Mariam Kamara spoke on her return home to Niger West Africa, after studying architecture in the US, she articulated the essence of which CPDI Africa - The Community Planning & Design Initiative Africa - was built upon!! She is brilliant! @mariamkamr, GSA Johannesburg Lecture.  When African architects and designers define architecture through their world view and realities, all the 'Confusions' in our built environments will dissipate, both on and off the Continent! As we continue to Teach Architecture from an African Centered Curriculum! How Many Afrocentric Architects do you know who are solving challenges in your communities, preserving your culture and identity, and creating powerful opportunities for generations to come! #AfricaDefinesArchitecture #CPDIAfrica #GeniusRising #MariamKamara #NigerArchitect #TheAfricanArchitect #Architecture #AfricanArchitectureMatters #africanarchitecture