Last chance to see: Studio NYALI’s Venice pavilion on African futures
ArchiAfrika Pavilion by Studio NYALI crosses historical and contemporary architectural design originating from practitioners in Africa and its Diaspora
Founded by British architects Bushra Mohamed and Nana Biamah-Ofosu, interdisciplinary architecture, design and research firm Studio NYALI follows “a strong belief that architecture should be understood as the embodiment and artefact of human experience “. Its ArchiAfrika pavilion in Venice, which coincides with the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale, is one such example, exploring future Africans – both on the continent and its diaspora – through its architecture, as well as the exhibitions it houses.
The pavilion opened with the exhibition “The Course of Empire: A Compound House Typology,” alongside the work of students from the Kingston School of Art. The show explores the traditional compound house model found in Accra, Ghana, and the possibilities of its adaptability to the urban growth of various African and Western cities.
The 5x5m pavilion itself is made up of public, semi-public and private spaces, with its interior space hosting public events and its exterior serving as a seat for visitors. The vibrant red color of the structure is an aesthetic reference to the historic Jamestown district in Accra.
Carefully wrapped in the shimmering fabrics of Ghanaian wax prints, the roof, fully visible once inside, “recalls the glass roof of the Jamestown Café and Gallery founded by Joe Osae-Addo.”
At a time when many of us are counting on the fragility of futures that no longer interest us, the ArchiAfrika Pavilion bridges the subtleties of the architecture of Africa and its diaspora. He asks us to re-imagine our own future; those we can invent, participate in and belong to.
Studio NYALI is one of 200 participants in the European Cultural Commission’s Time Space Existence exhibition, alongside the 17th Hashim Sarkis Architecture Biennale in Venice, which revolves around the theme “How are we going to live together ? »The ArchiAfrika Pavilion is open to the public at the Giardini della Marinaressa in Venice until November 21, 2021. §