Africa Architecture Awards 2017 Winners

WORDS Amelia Brown

A gala awards ceremony, held on the 28 September 2017 on the rooftop of the Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, unveiled the winners of the inaugural Africa Architecture Awards, the first Pan-African architecture accolade that recognises the continent’s most noteworthy architectural projects.

Over 300 projects from 32 African countries were entered into the awards. The much-anticipated gala was the culmination of an ambitious two-year awards programme. Shortlisted finalists were flown into South Africa from across the continent and the world, and hosted by awards founder and sponsor Saint-Gobain.

A steering panel headed by Professor Lesley Lokko guided the awards with strategic input from ambassador Phill Mashabane, advisor Zahira Asmal, and patron Sir David Adjaye, one of the globe’s most influential voices in architecture.

“The Africa Architecture Awards are very critical,” said Sir David. “Now is the time to promote excellence and best practice on the continent.” Providing access to information about architecture in Africa and ensuring that this knowledge is shared widely and freely to the continent is a primary and ongoing aim of the awards.


Critical Dialogue: Forum de Arquitectura – by CEICA, Angola

Speculative: The Territory In-between, Cape Verde – by Guinea’s Aissata Balde, Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg

Emerging Voices: The Exchange Consulate: Trading Passports for Hyper-Performative Economic Enclaves, South Africa – by Nigerian student Ogundare Olawale Israel of the Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg

Built: Umkhumbane Museum, South Africa – by Choromanski Architects, South Africa


People’s Choice Awards: Bank Head Office in Lagos, Nigeria – by James Cubitt Architects, Lagos


Grand Prix: uMkhumbane Museum, South Africa – by Choromanski Architects, Durban

The Grand Prix was awarded to the project that best describes the ultimate objective of the Africa Architecture Awards, which is to inspire the future of African architecture. The overall winner received both a bespoke trophy and the cash prize of $10 000.