Sudano-Sahelian African Architecture

This is an architectural design of buildings commonly found below the Sahara from West African coastline all the way to the East African coast line.
The earliest remains are dated 250BC and found in Mali, in the Djenné-Djenno area.

The Great Mosque of Djenne, above, characterises the design. Use of mud bricks with adobe plaster, with wooden posts jutting out around 1 foot long from the walls.
The style is similar to Santa Fe Architecture in New Mexico, U.S.A.

This Sahel architecture style, with a touch of Santa Fe design, is my all-time favourite.

This Sudano-Sahel style was reserved for palaces, Mosques and other public places. The common man lived in round,grass thatched, adobe walled huts.


Agadez Grand Mosque.built in 1515 .


Larabanga Mosque,originally founded in 1421.

Modern styles that have borrowed from the Sudano-Sahel architecture are the Allan Donovan house in Nairobi National Park.

Ancient African Architectural styles throughout the African continent have recently began to come out with the onset of the internet, which has enabled faster and more efficient information gathering. The use of mud bricks and adobe plaster that can last centuries after being exposed to rain and sunshine is still a scientific marvel that needs to be looked into so as to see if it can be replicated on our current buildings due to its low cost of construction and abundant availability of adobe.

Architect Francis Gichuhi kamau.
info@a4architect.com

Arch. Francis Gichuhi Kamau. (326 Posts)

Architect Francis Gichuhi . B.Arch. University of Nairobi. Registered Architect, Kenya. Member, Architectural Association of Kenya. Contacts. email info@a4architect.com. Telephone +254721410684


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