Posts in Materials
Construction Magic

Architecture is one of those fields that cannot fulfill its agenda by itself. For architecture to become reality, not only do we (architects) often collaborate on designs, but we then need engineers, contractors, consultants, etc. to bring our work to life. This is sometimes painful, full of conflicts that can make the construction phase the least anticipated stage of a project, only made palatable by the fact that said project will soon become reality. So imagine my shock when I recently realized that collaborating with the builders, artisans and contractors on our projects in Niger is becoming one of my favorite aspect of architecture practice!

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Secular Architecture on Sacred Ground

We have an upcoming project. Normally, we prefer waiting until a project is under construction before talking about it. But this one is special, so we are VERY excited about it. It is an adaptive re-use project in a village of Niger that turns the local mosque into a library.

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L'architecture en terre au Niger

L’architecture en terre désigne les techniques et réalisations de la construction en terre. Le matériau de construction que l'on nomme béton de terre, boue séchée, terre battue, pisé, torchis, adobe (mot d'origine arabo-hispanique adopté en américain) est employé depuis au moins dix mille ans. Il a servi à construire les premières villes connues.

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Approaches to Architecture in Africa

The other day, I was talking with some non-architect friends about the kind of architecture I want to do and my desire to explore how we as Africans can (and should) find new expressions for our built environment that are uniquely ours. New ways to move forward, as I put it. They were very intrigued, and wanted to know what I meant exactly, and how one goes about achieving that. I admit, I found it a bit difficult to answer their questions since I am still looking for the clue myself!

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