In the 1950s and 1960s, most African countries gained independence from their respective colonial power. Architecture became one of the principal means by which the newly formed countries expressed their national identity. Parliament buildings, central banks, stadiums, convention centres, universities and independence memorials were built, often to heroic and daring designs. At the same time, these buildings exemplify also the difficulties, contradictions and dilemmas these countries experienced in their nation-building process.
This groundbreaking new book investigates for the first time the relationship between architecture and nation building in Ghana, Senegal, Kenya, Côte d'Ivoire, and Zambia. It features well over one hundred buildings with brief descriptive texts, images, site plans and selected floor plans and sections. The majority of images is contributed by celebrated Dutch architectural photographer Iwan Baan, documenting the buildings in their present state. Each country is portrayed in an introductory text and a timeline of historic events. Further essays on post-colonial Africa and specific aspects and topics, also illustrated with images and documents, round out this outstanding book.