An extension and upgrade to the embassy of the ivory coast
Norman Foster said: “If you weren’t an optimist, it would be impossible to be an architect.”
As the planet goes through a pandemic and Africa battles political plagues such as corruption and coup’s, the South African landscape changes daily as we navigate through the dichotomy of developing nations in a developed world with advanced technology.
Between load shedding, pandemics, incompetent eco-centric leadership decisions, and a compliance system that is failing us, we can easily throw in the towel and say that surely nothing can get worse. Any realist worth his salt would agree with this rather gloomy sentiment. Yet, in the midst of all the noise and chaos architecture by its very nature produces structure and shelter. Since the dawn of humanity, our structures and architecture have been a necessary and important element of human evolution and existence. We need shelter, but also safe, sustainable, economical, and lasting structures.
Architecture evolves as mankind evolves and faces new challenges. Covid-19 has made it clear that we have to re-design and re-focus once more. Although this project was riddled with outside noise, so much so that I am amazed at its completion four years later, it is a testament to the enduring nature of architecture and its place in humanity.
Architecture in South Africa seems to have transcended a broken system and indeed transcends chaos and segregation. It gives a concrete unifying message of how we are all human with human needs, however, those needs might change rapidly in the face of new challenges….