Docomomo Journal <p>Docomomo Journal publishes original research on the documentation and conservation of Modern Movement buildings, sites and neighbourhoods.</p> Docomomo International en-US Docomomo Journal 1380-3204 Examining the Recorded Histories of Nigeria's First Post-Independence Universities <p>Nigeria’s independence ushered in an era of university creation. Four new universities were established by 1962, just two years after attaining self-rule. Twenty-five years later, they each commissioned and published a book that documented their histories. This article employs a textual analysis of these publications within the context of contemporary research on university architecture in 20th-century Nigeria. It examines these books as a historical source for tracing the universities’ architectural histories. It further explores the ways they documented their built environment through their accounts of academic development, institutional changes, and nation-building goals. Finally, it reflects on the relevance of their sources, narratives, and limitations in reimagining the architectural history of Nigeria’s first universities.</p> Adefolatomiwa Toye Copyright (c) 2023 Adefolatomiwa Toye 2023-12-15 2023-12-15 69 8 13 10.52200/docomomo.69.01 African Agency and Colonial Committees at Fourah Bay College <p>Fourah Bay College was the first Western-style university to be established along the West African coast in 1827. Primarily used to train missionaries and traders operating in British West Africa, it remained one of the premier educational establishments, overlooking the docks of Cline Town in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Following the Colonial Development and Welfare Acts and civil unrest in the aftermath of World War II, British colonial policy began to fund a series of secondary and tertiary education institutions. Modeled on the new University of the West Indies, these new universities adopted the residential college dorm typology coupled with the latest modernist architecture designed to enhance climatic comfort.<br />A new campus was proposed for Fourah Bay, and in contrast to earlier precedents, the architectural approach was to be more humble and less monumental. Following a masterplan by London-based architects Norman and Dawbarn, the much smaller and relatively unknown British practice of Frank Rutter was appointed to design most of the campus buildings. The centerpiece is a large concrete tower named after John F. Kennedy, symbolic of the shifting political posturing for control and influence. Following Independence in 1961 and with increasing technical aid offered to neighboring Ghana and Nigeria from Socialist Eastern European powers, Fourah Bay College demonstrated how these political attempts for influence were directly played out through these newly formed institutions. Fourah Bay College also reveals the African agency in appointing architects and who was able to control the procurement processes and design teams. Rutter was dismissed as ‘college architect’ by a small contingent of newly qualified Sierra Leonean architects eager to ensure local appointments and architectural expressions were given opportunity. The campus, with its impressive architectural structures and innovative solutions, mirrors the political flux and shifting global power structures of the late 1950s and early 1960s, along with the local agency of Freetown architects and their quest to shape the future.</p> Ewan Harrison Iain Jackson Copyright (c) 2023 Ewan Harrison, Iain Jackson 2023-12-15 2023-12-15 69 14 28 10.52200/docomomo.69.02 A Tropical Modern Architect <p>Professor John Owusu Addo is a Ghanaian tropical modern architect and a pioneer in architectural education and practice in the nation-building of Ghana and other Commonwealth countries. His contributions to the modern architecture discourse seem to be overshadowed by the cohort of architects of both Western and Socialist origin who practiced in Africa during the decolonization era. The Community Center at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) campus in Kumasi-Ghana was designed by him; it represents a classic example of ‘unknown’ heritage within the narrative. This short essay examines both primary and secondary data, including unpublished interviews, master series events, articles, and papers to contextualize Prof. Owusu Addo as an exemplary protagonist to be explored for the benefit of tropical modern architects, especially in African settings.</p> Prince Charles Kwabi Copyright (c) 2023 Prince Charles Kwabi 2023-12-15 2023-12-15 69 29 34 10.52200/docomomo.69.03 The Higher School of Agriculture of Mograne (1947-1952) in Tunisia <p>In order to document the architectural production of the Modern Movement in Tunisia1, we propose in this article to study a major project in the production of academic institutions, the “Ecole d’Agriculture de Mograne” at Zaghouan in northern Tunisia. The school was designed by architect Jean Pierre Ventre (1913-1979) and his collaborator Marcel Faure (1882-?) and built between 1947 and 1952. The commission for this institution of higher learning, located in a verdant natural setting, was programmed with the political aim of bringing a breath of modernity to the country, breaking with the local traditional heritage. The complex is a classic example of structural modernity, in which the building’s layout reflects both the functional nature of the complex and its coherent integration into the surrounding context. The overall aesthetic of the building is based on a rigorous geometric composition, with horizontal and vertical lines giving it a monumental character. The individual parts, meanwhile, are rationally designed, giving them a functional dimension in terms of sun shading, circulation, or structural maintenance. The mixed use of jointed ashlar masonry and bush-hammered concrete lends stylistic coherence to the whole and has contributed to the school’s longevity and durability for over 70 years. For all its students, the school represents an exemplary academic environment where the memory of the place has left its mark on past generations and continues to do so. Over the years, the School of Mograne has been subject to a number of modifications. What’s more, several of the annex buildings are now in a state of neglect. This calls for urgent action to rehabilitate and reconvert these abandoned spaces. And even more importantly, the Mograne School of Agriculture needs to be protected and classified as a modern heritage and national heritage monument for the values it offers in terms of history, architecture, and environmental integration.</p> Salma Gharbi Hédi Derbel Copyright (c) 2023 Salma Gharbi, Hédi Derbel 2023-12-15 2023-12-15 69 35 41 10.52200/docomomo.69.04 Reviving the Modern Architecture of Arieh Sharon’s Obafemi Awolowo University, Ilé-Ifẹ̀ , Nigeria <p>Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ilé-Ifẹ̀, Nigeria, was established after Nigeria’s independence in 1960 as the University of Ife. Bauhaus architecture school graduate Arieh Sharon (1900-1984) designed the master plan and most of the initial buildings in the university core through Israeli-Nigerian technical development relations. The often written about campus is one of the most prominent modern architectural exemplars in Africa and one of the exhibits during the one-hundred-year celebration of Bauhaus–Bauhaus 100–in 2019. Like many examples of modern architecture around the world, this campus needs conservation measures for various reasons, including being out of contemporary functional use. However, this campus is in intensive use; in fact, the expanding use and minimal awareness of inherent values coupled with maintenance issues are the major reasons for conservation measures. Local and international collaboration of concerned partners resulted in the Conservation Management Plan (CMP) of the Ilé-Ifẹ̀ campus being one of the 13 projects funded by the Getty Keeping-It-Modern (KIM) 2020 program with complementary measures funded by Gerda Henkel Stiftung. This paper details the actions taken so far in conserving the unique modern architecture of the university and the future actions needed to ensure it continues to occupy its place in architectural discourse.</p> Babatunde Jaiyeoba Bayo Amole Copyright (c) 2023 E. Babatunde Jaiyeoba, Bayo Amole 2023-12-15 2023-12-15 69 42 51 10.52200/docomomo.69.05 Reflections on the Impact of Tropical Modernism on African Primary Schools <p>The architectural design of educational spaces in Sub-Saharan Africa after the 1950s was heavily influenced by Tropical Modernism, an architectural style that rose to prominence in Africa during the period of independence movements across the continent. Notably, in growing independent countries such as Rwanda and Ghana, educational buildings assumed profound symbolic significance as tangible representations of progress and development. This article explores the architecture of two primary schools, École Belge in Kigali, Rwanda and Republic Road School in Tema, Ghana. It highlights the role of standardization as well as the role of landscape and climate responsiveness in school designs and today’s impact of the school buildings on their respective communities. The two schools in Ghana and Rwanda were selected in order to draw on themes related to Anglophone and Francophone colonial influences. Through site visits and document analysis, general conclusions were drawn to describe how two schools built at the same time but in completely different parts of Sub-Saharan Africa are very similar and yet so different.</p> Emmanuella Codjoe Justicia Kiconco Copyright (c) 2023 Emmanuella Ama Codjoe, Justicia Caesaria Tegyeka Kiconco 2023-12-15 2023-12-15 69 52 60 10.52200/docomomo.69.06 Rukurato Hall, Banyoro, Uganda and the Great Hall, KNUST, Ghana <p>This article presents two modernist building case studies, one each from East and West Africa which explore approaches to modernist public building conservation. The Rukurato Hall in East Africa, formerly used as a regional assembly hall for the Bunyoro Kingdom in Uganda, is now used as the parliament building of the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom.<br>The Great Hall in West Africa at the Kumasi University of Science and Technology (KNUST) serves as an institutional hall; it is a monument of academic and cultural significance in Kumasi. This article delves into the historical evolution of the Great Hall, which has hosted numerous essential events, ranging from local academic gatherings to distinguished international conferences since 1967. The Great Hall’s rich heritage and architectural prominence have been subject to various interventions aimed at conserving its essence. The examination of these interventions in maintaining the integrity of the building while adapting to the changing needs of the university underscores the delicate balance required between modernization and safeguarding cultural and architectural legacies.<br>Both case studies present contrasting views on the challenges of conservation in the African context, resulting in different conservation efforts. In the case of the Rukurato Hall, arguable the loss of function for a significant period, before reinstatement in the late 1990s and challenges of funding have greatly influenced the ability to realize conservation ambitions. In the Great Hall, whilst conservation funds were secured, and the conservation effort was successful, the use of the Hall has been ‘controlled’ and various actions have arguably tested the authenticity of the conservation process transforming the building aesthetic in the process. This article employs methods of document analysis, archival research, and interviews with key stakeholders.</p> Timothy Latim Jonathan Kplorla Agbeh Copyright (c) 2023 Timothy Latim, Jonathan Kporla Agbeh 2023-12-15 2023-12-15 69 61 69 10.52200/docomomo.69.07 International Conference Centre and Nile Hotel <p>The International Conference Centre and the adjacent Nile Hotel in Kampala were built in 1971-73 to facilitate the 12th Heads of State Summit conference of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) by architects from one of the founding countries of the Non-Aligned Movement: Tito’s Yugoslavia. Being too young to be considered historic, both buildings appear out of place and out of time, undervalued and overlooked in a city without a registry and planning control. While the conference center is in a well-maintained and original condition, the hotel’s renovation has transformed it beyond recognition. Their historical significance, particularly of the conference center, would hold value in any other context. However, in Uganda, it seems to bear no weight beyond the faint memory of past geopolitical alliances and ideals. The fact that the facility is disregarded as the venue for the upcoming Non-Aligned Movement summit reinforces this perception. This article describes these intricacies because they are rarely documented elsewhere. Consequently, it is a part of the Shared Heritage Africa project, aimed at rediscovering masterpieces of the Modern Movement.</p> Milena Ivković Frank van der Hoeven Copyright (c) 2023 Milena Ivković, Frank van der Hoeven 2023-12-15 2023-12-15 69 70 75 10.52200/docomomo.69.08 Connecting the Dots <p>The Modern Movement encompasses a diverse collection of both iconic and ordinary treasures of architecture worldwide, among which some are safeguarded with respect to their values, while others were demolished, have undergone alterations, neglect, or lack of maintenance and preservation over time. Docomomo has been playing a pivotal role in documenting and safeguarding significant architectural works of the 20th century. Its National and Regional Working Parties (WPs), spread across the globe, have diligently compiled archives of photographs, drawings, historical records, and research materials related to Modern Movement architecture, town planning and landscape design. However, the decentralized nature of these archives poses challenges in terms of accessibility, coordination, and attaining a more comprehensive record of the Modern Movement with a global perspective. Therefore, this study undertakes the explorative task of compiling data from these separate online-available archives of the WPs to attain a broader overview of the documented objects of Modern Movement architecture on a global-scale. The collected data is analyzed to identify patterns, trends, and influential architects and to elaborate on the potential factors contributing to the current status. The study involves analysis of the predominant format of building use/function among documented architectural works, examination of the geographical and chronological coverage of available lists, and the distribution of intervention status within the inventory. These aspects provide valuable insights into the functional diversity, geographic spread, and preservation status of architectural works documented in the dispersed archives. This study also facilitates comparative studies between different regions and countries, shedding light on the shared characteristics and unique contributions of the Modern Movement across diverse cultural contexts. The results help identify trends, gaps, and areas of focus for future research and documentation efforts, ensuring the holistic appreciation of architectural works, and contributing to the scholarly understanding and preservation of this modern heritage.</p> Meric Altintas Kaptan Aslıhan Ünlü Uta Pottgiesser Copyright (c) 2023 Meric Altintas Kaptan, Aslıhan Ünlü, Uta Pottgiesser 2023-12-15 2023-12-15 69 76 85 10.52200/docomomo.69.09 Books and Reviews <p>A review by Mark R. O. Olweny of <em>Fugitive Archives: A Sourcebook for Centering Africa in Histories of Architecture edited by Claire Lubell and Rafico Ruiz (2023)</em> and a review by Immaculata Abba of <em>Architecture and Politics in Nigeria: The Study of a Late Twentieth-century Enlightenment-inspired Modernism at Abuja, 1900-2016, Nnamdi Elleh (2020).</em></p> Mark Olweny Immaculata Abba Copyright (c) 2023 Mark R. O. Olweny, Immaculata Abba 2023-12-15 2023-12-15 69 114 116 10.52200/docomomo.69.13 Shared Heritage Africa <p>Docomomo International is proud to present the results of the international project Shared Heritage Africa: Rediscovering Masterpieces and other selected papers from our call for papers Shared Heritage Africa – Campuses, published in December 2022. The SHA project itself, coordinated by Docomomo Germany, focused on rediscovering post-war modern buildings from the 1950s-1980s in the partner countries Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, and Rwanda. This period of independence from colonial rule, from the United Kingdom (Ghana 1957, Nigeria 1960, and Uganda 1962) and from Belgium (Rwanda 1962), has a great socio-political significance and influence on the educational systems and buildings. The rediscovery of this heritage focuses on exploring the values, challenges, and opportunities through the eyes of their contemporary users. Concentrating on the post-war modern buildings constructed after independence from colonial rule, the project celebrated projects that are situated at the periphery of the architectural discourse and, therefore, seldom documented despite their social, economic, and political significance.<br>This Docomomo journal highlights the importance of the combination of local workshops, including student writing and photography workshops, exhibitions and ‘digital fellowships’ using the internet for dissemination. Exploratory interviews and narratives are used to collect testimonies of contemporary users⎯applied in the SHA project as well as in the other articles. Aspects discussed are, among others, the physical; deterioration (technical, functional, social), the cosmological; through the sense of identity, community, place attachment, maintenance and taking care, ownership and appropriation, and the environmental; considering the quality, and sustainability of spaces, and also conditions of comfort and satisfaction. While the method is in development, preliminary conclusions can already be sketched. The written, visual, and digital documentation of the built cultural heritage of Africa is a prerequisite for sustainable urban and social development. The approach builds upon African and international Docomomo initiatives and identifies students and young professionals as important groups to develop social, cultural, and political awareness and to further advance participatory tools.<br>Most relevant were the partners in and from Africa who helped with their networks in Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, and Rwanda during the excursions and exhibitions: Ola Uduku (University of Liverpool), Taibat Lawanson (University of Lagos) are well-known and respected for their research on education buildings and urban development in Africa. Their commitment to the younger generations and the (built) heritage of Africa and their enthusiasm were instrumental to the achievements of the SHA project. Kuukuwa Manful from Docomomo Accra Chapter in Ghana finished her dissertation within the ERC program ‘African State Architecture’ during the project duration, and Mark Olweny (Uganda Martyrs University) in Kampala, Uganda, greatly supported the visit to Uganda and Rwanda. The photography and writing workshops and exhibitions were strongly supported by the project partners, namely photographer Jean Molitor, who has initiated his own art project ‘bau1haus’, is experienced in setting up exhibitions and shared his knowledge enthusiastically with the SHA-Fellows. Christian Burkhard brought in the competence of Architectuul, an architectural platform that, through its co-workers in various countries, forms an international architecture community. Finally, Anica Dragutinovic (TH OWL) coordinated the contact amongst the SHA-Fellows from the very beginning and during their visits to Europe to the 17th International Docomomo Conference in Valencia in 2022 and to the 19th Docomomo Germany Conference in Frankfurt 2023. Three exhibitions were organized: in Lagos in 2022, in Kampala and in Frankfurt in 2023.<br>We also like to thank the members of the SHA project’s Advisory board: Ana Tostoes (University of Lisbon), Iain Jackson (University of Liverpool), Irene Appeaning Addo (University of Ghana), Kaija Voss (Architectural Historian), and Tino Mager (ICOMOS Germany).<br>Finally, we are grateful to the German Federal Foreign Ministry that supported the project with a grant (AZ99210073) from 2021-2023, and it is with great pleasure that we are launching this issue of the Docomomo journal, published both in print and online via</p> Uta Pottgiesser Wido Quist Copyright (c) 2023 Uta Pottgiesser, Wido Quist 2023-12-15 2023-12-15 69 2 3 10.52200/docomomo.69.ed Buildings for Higher Education in Africa <p>Access to formal education has long been considered essential to progress by people in Africa. The design and building of educational institutions were also an important part of the post-war modernism construction boom around the world and on the African continent, coinciding with post-independence nation-building. From the 1940s through to the early 1970s, ambitious nations from Algeria to Zimbabwe invested in universities and higher educational buildings as both literal and physical centers of intellectual advancement for their nations’ youth in that jubilant era, heralding freedom from colonization and the emergence of self-rule.<br>More than half a century later, these edifices borne of hope and expectation have generally stood the test of time and remain recognizable features in many African cities and landscape settings. How these structures have fared architecturally and how they have been adapted or incorporated into contemporary life varies by country, institution, and socio-political context: an important subject to be studied. As the provision of educational buildings is still important to African nations and is part of the global sustainable development goals, what better time to revisit those purpose-built institutions in a time of hope and exuberance? Especially as their relevance remains critical to the development of Africa’s best and brilliant young minds?<br>This special issue of the Docomomo Journal focuses on educational institutions, particularly universities and other higher educational establishments built in Africa from the late 1940s to the 1970s, as instances of shared’ social, political, cultural, economic, and architectural heritage. This architectural heritage has been shared through actions of coercion, co-option, and co-operation between various proximal African countries, former colonial powers, and contemporary socio-economic partners. Many contributions are linked to the Shared Heritage Africa (SHA) Project—funded by the German Foreign Ministry (Auswärtiges Amt)—, which focused on the documentary rediscovery of modern university campuses as examples of cultural landscapes from the period of independence from colonial rule.</p> Ola Uduku Kuukuwa Manful Copyright (c) 2023 Ola Uduku, Kuukuwa Manfol 2023-12-15 2023-12-15 69 4 7 10.52200/ What is Shared about African Modernism? What is African about Modern Heritage? <p>The Shared Heritage Africa (SHA) project focused on the rediscovery of modern university campuses and seminal buildings in West and East Africa from the 1950s to the 1970s. The project involved nine research fellows from Ghana, Nigeria, and Uganda, who conducted heritage research, local writing and photography workshops, exhibitions, and published content to document Africa’s built cultural heritage, eight of them are presented here. This initiative aimed to promote sustainable urban and social development, drawing on African and international efforts and targeting students and young professionals to foster social, cultural and political awareness.</p> Immaculata Abba Tubi Otitooluwa Jonathan Kplorla Agbeh Christine Matua Timothy Latim Justicia Kiconco Bola Oguntade Emmanuella Codjoe Copyright (c) 2023 Immaculata Abba, Tubi Otitooluwa; Wido Quist 2023-12-15 2023-12-15 69 86 98 10.52200/docomomo.69.10 Documenting the Reuse of Modern Buildings <p>This paper looks into the 2022 writing workshop sponsored by the British Academy with Nigerian and Ghanaian participants. It was focussed on the present status of modern buildings, which are quickly replaced by newer ones, eroding the prevailing vernacular of the landscape of African university campuses. A new approach was adopted to documenting the stories of these buildings, which had existed prior to the time, by Africans, not foreigners. Postgraduate students were co-opted to participate in a five-day writing workshop across three universities in Nigeria. The teams were headed by Early Career Researchers (ECRs) led by a Nigerian Co-Investigator (Co-I), similar to a workshop held in Ghana just a week before. The Principal Investigator (PI) was based in the United Kingdom and assisted by two co-investigators, one from Nigeria and one from Ghana. For the Nigerian contingent, the loci group comprised four participants per group (12 participants in each of the three universities in Lagos, Jos, and Enugu campus). At each university, the participants selected modern buildings on the campus to write about, guided by the ECRs. Scheduled meetings were arranged for expert presentations, site visits, and group meet-ups to discuss their working papers. Recommendations were made for architectural histories and criticisms to be introduced into the students’ curriculum, from which publications and documentation of these buildings can be carried out concurrently. Grants and awards can also be targeted at universities both locally and globally to further improve this approach. Emphasis on the cultural point of view was encouraged in the writing exercise to preserve the heritage aspects of the buildings.</p> Adeyemi Oginni Oluwaseyi Akerele Ademola Omoegun Nnezi Uduma-Olugu Copyright (c) 2023 Adeyemi Oginni, Oluwaseyi Akerele, Ademola Omoegun, Nnezi Uduma-Olugu 2023-12-15 2023-12-15 69 99 105 10.52200/docomomo.69.11 Campus Utopias <p>“Campus Utopias: A Visual Re-reading” describes a multidisciplinary graduate course conducted collaboratively by TU Delft and METU Ankara’s Architecture Departments in 2022. The research course focused on the key urban and architectural features of selected campus projects, examining how the modernist architects engaged in these designs were able to use them as a basis for the experimentation of new educational-residential models for living.<br />This research paper explores the formal aspects of these campuses and their architectural significance. It recognizes the diverse geographies where the modern architectural movement took root and the active role played by political, economic, and cultural agents in shaping these projects. Working with local agents and situating modern architecture within its surrounding infrastructure and landscape helped master architects to integrate local architectural values and new building technologies.<br />The article presents three case studies: Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria, the University of Baghdad in Iraq, and the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas. These campuses were designed and built after World War II, representing the aspirations of newly installed governments. The article highlights the architectural approaches that incorporated environmental considerations and cultural inspirations and the socio-economic considerations in each project.<br />The research methodology involves a comparative analysis of the campuses, focusing on their formal qualities and in-between spaces. The students involved in the graduate research course utilized various media and techniques of representation, including 3D digital drawings, models, collages, and physical reliefs. The work results were presented in the form of an exhibition titled “Campus Utopias” at TU Delft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment in April 2022. The student projects in this photo essay show the diversity of scale and make visible the similarities and differences in the overall campus design approaches of the three projects. The major focus is on the in-between spaces and the outcomes of the multidisciplinary work of architects, engineers, landscape architects, and artists.</p> Ayşen Savaş Sargın Esther Gramsbergen Yagiz Söylev Copyright (c) 2023 Ayşen Savaş Sargın, Esther Gramsbergen, Yagiz Söylev 2023-12-15 2023-12-15 69 106 113 10.52200/docomomo.69.12 In Memory of Jean Louis Cohen (1949-2023) and Maija Kairamo (1935-2023) Maristella Casciato Émilie d'Orgeix Hubert-Jan Henket Copyright (c) 2023 Maristella Casciato, Émilie d'Orgeix, Hubert-Jan Henket 2023-12-15 2023-12-15 69 117 118 10.52200/docomomo.69.14