Discovering different architectural styles of homes throughout the continent of Africa might be the best way to see largest variety of homes, located on just one continent. From country to country there is an obvious margin between rich and poor, thus allowing you to see a dramatic mix in architectural styles, due to materials that are available. Now, these three examples are just one little snapshot of the housing in these specific areas in Africa.
In the Desert
The extreme heat of Sahara Desert brings a need to create homes that can help protect people from hot sun. Along the northern part of Africa, there are many countries that are primarily at the mercy of that dry, desert heat. Housing is quite expensive to build. So, among those who can’t afford to build a home out of other materials, there has been a large growth in Nubian-style homes.
“Nubian-style homes are essentially domed mud-brick homes, that don’t cost any money to build. Not only are these homes cheap to produce, they also keep inside cool from the severe Sahara heat,” said home improvement expert and owner of a kitchen remodel company, Denise Raeker. “Another factor as to why this home style is growing is due to the protection of the forest. Preserving the small number of trees that are in these areas is motivation to find an alternative material for building homes.”
Along the Coast
Moving down to coast of South Africa you will find more contemporary style homes. As South Africa is a more developed country, these homes will be of similar styles to those you would find along the shorelines of Western American homes. Homes here are newer, but more recently constructed homes pay homage to classic styles that you would find elsewhere throughout the world. Large windows on homes provide a fantastic view of ocean and mountains in Cape Town. These homes tend to have sleek lines and flat roofs, making them look chic and contemporary. Incorporating eco-friendly elements into the features of homes is popular, all in an effort to conserve resources of the environment.
Somewhere in Between
“Nigerian housing market is one of the most developed in all of countries in Africa,” said Jessica Tesdall, home building expert and spokesperson for a Minneapolis roofing company. Being most populated countries on continent, they certainly are in need of a lot of housing. Architecture used in the homes in Nigeria is also quite modern, like the homes in South Africa. Though they may be new looking, they do have different architectural features. Looking at photos of homes in Nigeria, they look much more similar to suburban Western American homes. These homes have pitched roofs and symmetrical windows. They are usually built mostly with cement and accented bricks. It is also not uncommon for a Nigerian home to use multiple colors as accents.
With this brief look into some of the different architectural designs of homes in Africa, it is easy to see that there isn’t just one type of home throughout the continent. Due to the varying climate in the development of each country, each type of architectural design expresses a bit of the needs of various cultures throughout Africa.