Architecture is a fascinating subject. It is a field that requires creativity, engineering, ingenuity and practicality. The people who build the structures also need to have a great understanding of how materials will react and if they will uphold the ultimate vision. Ensuring that a building is functional and will last is a work of collaboration. There is something truly amazing about how people attack this subject from their respective fields to bring us apartment buildings, offices, houses and sometimes just shere beauty. Come with me on a journey of interesting builds from around the world.
Amager Bakke is located in Amager, Copenhagen, Denmark. The facility is a combined heat and power waste-to-energy plant that incorporates a recreational aspect. The plant was created to be part of the city and replace the incineration plant for better processing. The building is part of the country’s push towards zero carbon by 2025. For the residents nearby the building was meant to be interactive and take away the industrial feeling. The roof of the building includes a dry ski run, hiking trail and climbing wall. It opened in 2018 to the public and is expected to garner 42-57 thousands visitors a year.
The Soweto Theatre
The Soweto Theatre is located in Soweto, South Africa, in the Jubalani precinct. Soweto has a rich history and has always played a significant role in liberating the people of South Africa. In 1952 the Jubalani Amphitheatre was built and serviced as one of the few places for cultural and artistic release during the apartheid years. It survived the 1976 Student Uprising and has ushered in many musicians and festivals that continue to this day. The Soweto Theatre was completed in 2012. It is there to continue this tradition and bring life to a bustling part of Johannesburg.
This iconic structure was designed by Moshe Safdie for Expo 67. The peninsula was expanded to be able to create Habitat 67. The building can be found in Cité-du-Havre, Montreal, Canada. The purpose of the build ws to create a piece of paradise in the city. The stacked cubes are located downtown, near the Old Port of Montreal with a river view. The views around the building include the city skyline and bridges as well as an abundance of green with poplar, oak and maple trees.
This monument stands out as a symbol of prosperity and independence. Located in Cameroon, it shows another side of African architecture combined with art to commemorate the past struggle for freedom. The creators are Mpando Gédéon (sculpture), Engelbert Mveng and Atelier Arts Nègre (design, decoration in relief on the architectural structure), Armand Salomon (architecture), 1973 -1976, concrete, height of the sculpture: 7m, Atemengue Plateau Yaoundé, Cameroon. The monument speaks of the unification of the two parts of Cameroon, the Francophone and the Anglophone. It is a strong message about being one people united for a brighter future. Hopefully the monument will serve as a reminder of that unity in today’s difficult political climate.
Lideta Market is a shopping mall in the capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. The design incorporates the style of more traditional markets and focuses much less on typical malls with large shops and big viewing windows. The building takes into account the sunlight and airflow needed for a comfortable environment in which to do your shopping. The building connects two streets and so also acts as a thorough way for foot traffic. They walk into the building to find an atrium in the centre for a moment of rest before continuing with their day or to get some shopping done.
All of these structures provide a unique view into urban living, a testament to art, and how architecture can prevail in socio-political restructuring. It is not simply about making a shelter or housing shops. It is an opportunity to showcase so many aspects of each culture and landscape. So next time you find yourself gazing upon the facade of an interesting building, take a moment to embrace how it fits into its environment and what kind of construction planning went into it.