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Adjaye, David  

Kristina Borrman

(b Dar es Salaam, Sept 22, 1966).

British architect of Tanzanian birth and Ghanaian descent. David Adjaye’s projects span a wide range of architectural categories including residential buildings, retail spaces, civic buildings, and art installations. After establishing his own practice in 2000, Adjaye’s work inspired critics and historians to consider his buildings in terms of their carefully considered spatial relationships to their sites, the intense multi-sensory experiences they offer users, and their interrogation of architecture’s ability to communicate ideas concerning place, identity, and symbolic value.

David Adjaye was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 1966. As the son of a Ghanaian diplomat, Adjaye was already well travelled by the age of 13, having resided in the Middle East and Africa before moving to London. In 1986 Adjaye received his diploma in art and design from Middlesex College. Two years later he secured a job with the offices of Chassay Architects in London while concurrently studying for his architecture BA at Southbank University. The programme at Southbank structured Adjaye’s studies to prepare him for the three-part Royal Institute of British Architects Examinations, the successful completion of which officially deemed Adjaye a fully qualified architect in ...


Amenhotpe, son of Hapu  

(b Athribis, nr Benha, c. 1440 bc; d c. 1350 bc).

Ancient Egyptian architect and patron. Amenhotpe rose to prominence in his home town during the reign of Amenophis III (reg c. 1391–c. 1353 bc) as a royal scribe and chief of the priests of the local god Khentekhtai. About 1390 bc he moved to the royal court at Thebes and was rapidly promoted by Amenophis III to the position of chief royal architect, responsible for the whole process of temple construction, from quarrying to the sculpting of relief decoration, as well as the commissioning of royal statues. The full list of buildings for which Amenhotpe was architect is not known, but he certainly supervised the construction of a huge temple at Soleb near the second cataract of the Nile in Lower Nubia, where several of the reliefs depict him standing alongside the King during the temple consecration ceremony. He also built two tombs and a mortuary temple for himself on the west bank at Thebes (...


Amer, Sawsan  

Egyptian, 20th century, female.

Born 1937, in Cairo.

Painter. Landscapes, architectural views.

Sawsan Amer received her diploma from the institute of fine art in Cairo in 1958 and works as a painter at the city's agricultural museum. Her painting is highly 'decorative-illustrative'. She often bases her work on features of traditional Islamic architecture, such as domes and minarets, with which she reconstructs views of imaginary towns, as in her work ...


Baker, Sir Herbert  

Gavin Stamp

(b Cobham, Kent, June 9, 1862; d Cobham, Feb 4, 1946).

English architect and writer, also active in South Africa and India. He was articled to a cousin, Arthur Baker, a former assistant of George Gilbert Scott I, in 1879 and attended classes at the Architectural Association and Royal Academy Schools before joining the office of George & Peto in London (1882), where he first met and befriended Edwin Lutyens. Baker set up in independent practice in 1890 but moved to South Africa in 1892 to join his brother Lionel Baker. In Cape Town he met Cecil Rhodes, Prime Minister of the Cape Colony, who directed his attention to the traditional European Cape Dutch architecture of the province and asked him to rebuild his house Groote Schuur (1893, 1897), now the official residence of South Africa’s prime ministers. Applying the ideas of the English Arts and Crafts movement to local conditions, Baker produced a series of houses, both in the Cape Province and the Transvaal, which were instrumental in the revival of Cape Dutch architecture. In ...


Baloji, Sammy  

Elaine E. Sullivan

(b Lubumbashi, Dec 29, 1978).

Congolese photographer. Baloji’s photomontages explore themes of memory, architecture, and the environment. Such subjects are frequently treated through the use of archival photographs and watercolours, juxtaposed with contemporary photographs taken by the artist. By foregrounding archival images of labourers and overseers against contemporary urban and rural landscapes, Baloji’s work humanizes the colonial industrial history of his native Katanga province.

Sammy Baloji grew up in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where he attended the University of Lubumbashi and in 2005 received degrees in Information Sciences and Communication. While working as a cartoonist he borrowed a camera to photograph scenes to use as source material for his drawings. This sparked his interest in photography, which he began to study in the DRC. In 2005 he moved to France, where he continued to study photography as well as video at the Ecole Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Strasbourg.

Baloji’s work explores the history of Katanga through photography of both the natural and built environment. The locations Baloji photographs display the colonial and industrial pasts that continue to inform present-day politics and everyday life. Abandoned factories remind the viewer of Katanga’s prosperous mining past, and photographs of recently burnt fields where colonial outposts once stood shed light on a post-colonial reality....


Bamgboyé, Oladélé Ajiboyé  

Morgan Falconer

(b Nigeria, 1963).

Nigerian photographer, film maker, installation artist and writer active in Scotland. He studied Chemical Engineering at Strathclyde University, Glasgow (1981–85), before completing an MA in Media, Fine Art, Theory and Practice at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1996–8). Bamgboyé’s earliest work was photographic: The Lighthouse series (1989; see 1998 book, p. 65) initiated his interest in the representation of black masculinity by depicting his own naked body in often theatrical contortions, amid mundane domestic rooms; the frames of the photographs are attached to coat hangers, underlining the theme of domesticity and pointing to his interest in the changeable character of subjectivity. These themes were further explored in films, which he began to make in 1993: Spells for Beginners (1994; see 2000 exh. cat., p. 74) explores the breakdown of his long-term relationship with a woman through a broken mix of confessional dialogue and fleeting images of their home. The installation of which this film is a part takes the form of an ordinary living room and is typical of Bamgboyé’s technique of adumbrating his imagery with sculptural motifs that emphasize his themes. In other films he explored the issue of migration: ...


Boccara, Charles  

Hasan-Uddin Khan

(b Sousse, Tunisia, Dec 21, 1940).

French architect, active in Morocco. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, concentrating his studies on urban development and craft traditions. In 1968 he received his diploma and became a registered architect. He left France in 1969 and travelled in several countries, working in Casablanca before settling in Marrakesh in 1971, where he established his own practice. This remained a small one, allowing him as designer to retain control of every detail of his work. In both layout and design, Boccara’s architecture is rooted in the traditions of Islamic architecture in Morocco (see Islamic art, §II, 7(v)), which is characterized by refined decoration. His built works are not numerous but have been influential in developing a vocabulary for Moroccan architecture. They vary from the small Abtan House (1984), located in a palm grove outside Marrakesh, to the large, incomplete Opera House there (begun 1984...


Coste, Pascal(-Xavier)  

Barry Bergdoll

(b Marseille, Nov 26, 1787; d Marseille, Feb 8, 1879).

French architect and writer. The designer of many of the principal public buildings of Marseille, he also published the first accurate records of the Islamic monuments of Cairo, North Africa and the Middle East—a central interest of mid-19th-century architectural theorists and ornamentalists.

After studying both engineering and drawing in Marseille, Coste began his career in 1804 as site inspector and draughtsman for the Neo-classicist Michel-Robert Penchaud, a municipal and departmental architect, for whom he worked for a decade. In 1814, on the recommendation of the architects Percier & Fontaine, he entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and the ateliers of Antoine-Laurent-Thomas Vaudoyer and Jean-Baptiste Labadye (1777–1850). An encounter in Paris with the geographer Jombert, who had been a member of the scientific mission that accompanied Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798, was to influence his subsequent career. In 1817 Jombert recommended Coste to Muhammad ‛Ali, Khedive of Egypt (...


Cowin, Douglass M(aurice)  

Gilbert Herbert

(b c. 1910).

South African architect. He studied architecture at Liverpool University, England, graduating in 1933. His father was the architect Norris Tynwald Cowin (c. 1875–1942). On his return to South Africa in October 1933, he joined his father’s architectural firm, Cowin, Powers & Ellis (later Cowin & Ellis), in Johannesburg. In 1925 he became an Associate of the RIBA and a practising member of the South African Institute of Architects in 1926. On the whole he stood somewhat apart from Rex Martienssen and the homogeneous Transvaal Group. He differed from them in background by not being a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand as they were; in his refusal to acknowledge Martienssen’s leadership, although he respected him; and in his approach to architecture, seeking a regional idiom appropriate to South Africa’s climate and culture, rather than the endorsement of the International style. This found expression particularly in his domestic architecture....


Dosekun, Olusoji  

David Aradeon


(b Ibadan, Sept 10, 1951).

Nigerian architect. He was one of the 17 foundation students admitted to the two-tier architecture degree programme of the new School of Environmental Design at the University of Lagos in 1971 under John S. Myers and David Aradeon. After graduating with the BES (pre-architecture, 1974) and MED (architecture) degree in 1977, he served four years of apprenticeship in the Ilorin architectural offices of Niger Consultants. In the period 1981–5, he served as the Project Manager of the Economic and Technical Services Limited on the Agbara Estate project, the residential and industrial estate on the Badagry Expressway. Since 1985, when he opened his architectural office, the Siji Dosekun Partnership has been responsible for various projects. In Grailland, the sanctuary for the Grail followers in the Iju Hills (1985), his use of red bricks on the Gate House and fence walls, in conjunction with the green foliage and tall trees on the undulating landscape, achieves a spiritually uplifting ambience at the entry gates. Dosekun was a leading member of the generation of young Nigerians educated completely within the country in the 1970s, and his houses and residential projects continually question the basic assumptions expressed in Nigerian domestic architecture of the 1950s–1970s. By completely separating the dining- from the living-room in the four-storey apartment building constructed for the ...


Dudgeon, Philip Maurice  

Marilyn Martin

(b Dublin, 1852; d Bath, Jan 13, 1891).

Irish architect, active in South Africa. He was articled to the firm of Lanyon, Lynn and Lanyon of Dublin and Belfast at the age of 15, serving an apprenticeship for 5 years. The firm was dissolved in 1872 and Dudgeon joined William Henry Lynn as manager and chief assistant. He left towards the end of 1875, travelled for 12 months and arrived in Durban in January 1877. Only 6 of the 44 buildings designed or altered by him are extant. They encompass a variety of building types and styles. The major source of inspiration for the Standard Bank (1878–83) in Pietermaritzburg was Charles Lanyon’s Head Office of the Northern Bank (1851–2) in Belfast. The potential of the salmon-pink Pietermaritzburg brick is fully exploited in a stripped classical building with a central portico in antis.

Dudgeon won the competition for Durban Town Hall (1882–5). The building comprises a hexastyle Corinthian portico with flanking wings and a tower rising behind it. Although it was based on British prototypes, Dudgeon made concessions to the climate in the large size and convenience of areas, in the attention paid to ventilation and in the loggia protecting the north façade from the sun. For Maritzburg College (...


Eaton, Norman  

Clinton Harrop-Allin

(b Pretoria, Oct 1902; d Pretoria, July 1966).

South African architect. He studied at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, under G. E. Pearse (Dip. Arch., 1928). His training and early experience was formative in leading him to base his work on historical themes and precedents. He was nevertheless versed in the tenets of the emergent International style and the confluence of these influences gave rise to a fusion of the contemporary and the traditional in his work. From the outset, in the mid-1930s, a feature of his architecture was its evocation of locality, deriving from his profound empathy for the landscape, climate, materials and crafts of Africa. He was able to synthesize and bring this to bear within the context of his own time and society, and to capture a regional ethos and a sense of belonging in nonetheless thoroughly modern designs. At a time when concrete, stucco and plate-glass were de rigueur, Eaton’s creativity focused largely upon traditional materials. His sensitive use of stone, wood, terracotta and above all brick showed that contemporary architecture could achieve richness and warmth without compromising its design principles....


Ekweme, Alex  

David Aradeon

(Ifeanyi Chukwu)

(b Oko Aguata, Oct 21, 1932).

Nigerian architect. He studied architecture at the University of Washington, Seattle, between 1952 and 1957. After graduating, and before returning to Nigeria in 1958, he served apprenticeships with Leo A. Daily & Associates, Seattle, and Nickson & Borys, London. He served briefly at Esso (West Africa) Inc., Lagos, as Co-ordinator of Construction Maintenance, before opening his own offices, Ekweme Associates, in 1958. From 1960 to 1978 Ekweme was active in architectural practice. A founder-member of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) and a fellow from 1970, he served as Assistant Secretary (1958–62), Vice-President (1963–4) and President (1965–6). In 1969 he was registered by the Architects’ Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON), a body he also served as president from 1976 to 1979. He enrolled for a postgraduate programme in housing at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland, in 1976 and was awarded a PhD of that university in ...


Elliott, Julian  


(b Cathcart, Aug 27, 1928).

South African architect. He studied at the University of Cape Town (1948–53) and spent a year in London working for Frederick Gibberd and Partners (1953–4). He then formed a partnership with Philippe Charbonnier at Elisabethville, Congo (now Lubumbashi, Zaire), which became Charbonnier and Elliott (1955–8). He was responsible, with Charbonnier, for several buildings in Elisabethville, including the Bocskay Flats (1956) and a group of variegated, interconnected one-family houses of concrete and brick (1956–7), which adapted a traditional African vernacular to modern forms. An innovative private house (early 1960s) built at Itawa, near Ndola, Zambia, displayed Elliott’s sensitivity to climate and terrain with its curving, independent rain-roof poised like a bird’s wing over the structure to provide deep shade. He established a private practice in Ndola (1959–68), where his designs included the Kasama Cathedral. He was best known for his buildings (...


Ermes, Ali Omar  

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Tripoli, Libya, 1945).

Libyan painter. He returned to Libya in 1970 after graduating from the Plymouth School of Architecture and Design in England. In 1974 he was appointed consultant to the Festival of Islam in London, and in 1981 he settled in England. He typically uses individual letter forms based on the maghribī style of script typical of North Africa, setting one or two large letters against a richly textured abstract ground with accompanying excerpts from Arabic and world literature that address social and moral issues. His works have been exhibited in more than 60 solo and group exhibitions and can be found in many major museums. Chairman of Muslim Cultural Heritage Center in London, he has also been involved with several other cultural and intellectual institutions there.

A. O. Ermes: Ali Omar Ermes: Art and Ideas: Works on Paper (exh. cat., Oxford, Ashmolean, 1992)A. O. Ermeswith S. Rizvi: Reaching Out: Conversations on Islamic Art with Ali Omar Ermes...


Fassler, John  

Gilbert Herbert

(b Potchefstroom, Transvaal, April 21, 1910; d Johannesburg, June 18, 1971).

South African architect and educator of Swiss parentage. His outstanding draughtsmanship brought him early prominence as a student under G. E. Pearse at the University of the Witwatersrand and led to a teaching appointment in 1934, a year after graduating. His intimate contact as student and colleague with Rex Martienssen and his circle was the dominant influence on his career. His early affiliation with the Modern Movement was balanced by a love of architectural history: his design, in Pearse’s office, of the University Library (1933), with its classical portico and restrained modern interior, was prophetically ambivalent.

In 1934 Fassler began a brief association with Martienssen and Bernard Cooke, which in an intense burst of creativity produced some of Johannesburg’s pioneer major modern works, notably House Stern and Peterhouse (1934–5). His Joubert Park project for a block of flats (1934) was a striking contribution. Fassler first visited Europe in ...


Fathy, Hassan  

Hasan-Uddin Khan and Jonathan M. Bloom

revised by Sheila S. Blair

(b Alexandria, March 23, 1900; d Cairo, Nov 30, 1989).

Egyptian architect, teacher and writer. He graduated in architecture (1926) from the High School of Engineering, University of King Fuad I (now University of Cairo), and then worked at the Department of Municipal Affairs, Cairo (1926–30). He subsequently began to teach at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the university (1930–46 and 1953–7) while working independently as an architect. Fathy’s work can be considered in five main phases (see Steele, 1988). His early projects (1928–37) reveal his interest in the classical Beaux-Arts tradition, Art Deco and other trends fashionable in Europe at the time. In his second phase (1938–56) he developed the interest in indigenous building that made him internationally known. Starting with villas, the use of mud-brick and a preoccupation with the rural poor, Fathy evolved a new aesthetic that irrevocably linked him to local vernacular building traditions. This new direction was expressed in a series of beautiful gouaches and coloured pencil drawings (see Richards, Serageldin and Rastorfer, pls 1–8) exhibited in Mansoura and Cairo in ...


Fox, Revel  

Susan de Villiers

revised by Lorna Hansen

(Albert Ellis)

(b Durban, Sept 20, 1924; d Cape Town, Dec 13, 2004).

South African architect and urban planner. He studied architecture (1942–8) at the University of Cape Town, then worked (1951–2) for Ivar Tengbom in Stockholm. Fox returned to South Africa in 1952 and set up a variety of partnerships first in Worcester and later Cape Town. He first concentrated on domestic buildings that express a clear personal aesthetic, with their attention to detailing and adaptation to the environment (see fig.). The Wilson house, Worcester (1954), and La Cock house, Cape Town (1961), among others, are functional in nature but with visual references to the traditional domestic architecture of South Africa. His interest in housing traditions became the basis of his involvement in the restoration of Cape Dutch homes, for example Meerlust (1959) and Morgenster (1982 and 1997) in Somerset West. He also worked on housing projects, for example Montebello Apartments, Newlands (...


Furner, A(rthur) Stanley  

Gilbert Herbert

(b 1911; d Haenertsburg, Northern Transvaal, July 19, 1971).

South African architect, writer and teacher of British birth. He worked first as junior partner in the firm Kallenbach, Kennedy and Furner (from 1928; later Kennedy, Furner, Irvine-Smith and Joubert). His early work included the Plaza chain of cinemas in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town (1930–31), and the Arundel Court and Heath’s Building flats (before 1934), both Johannesburg. These pioneer modern buildings, elegant and restrained, were perhaps closer to Austrian architecture than to the European avant-garde. The later work of his firm included many landmarks of Johannesburg, such as the railway station complex. Furner’s reputation was also built on the significant role he played in the development of modern architecture in South Africa as a writer and teacher. He gave the Transvaal Group its initial impetus and its sense of direction. He became a senior lecturer in architecture at the University of the Witwatersrand under G. E. Pearse in ...


Gailhoustet, Renée  

Walter Smith

(b Oran, Algeria, Sept 15, 1929).

French architect and teacher. She moved to France in 1947 and after study at the Sorbonne and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, she opened her own practice at Ivry-sur-Seine, near Paris. During the 1970s and early 1980s she was involved primarily with social housing, most of her projects being located in densely populated urban centres. She advocated bringing nature into urban housing, through the use of garden-balconies and courtyards. Many of her projects have been extremely large in scale, such as the social housing and community development (1968–87; with Jean Renaudie) at Ivry-sur-Seine, comprising 800 flats and maisonettes, together with shops, nursery, medical centre and library. Between 1975 and 1986 she designed 180 balcony flats at Saint-Denis, which betray formal ties to Le Corbusier; a severe, planar geometry is relieved only by the outwardly jutting triangular balconies and cylindrical columns raising the flats above a lower level of shops. Gailhoustet later moved away from urban social housing, frustrated with the restrictions of zoning rules and other regulations. In the late 1980s and after she was involved in housing projects outside France. One of the most ambitious is a housing development (...