Four of the Most Innovative African Women Architects

Four of the Most Innovative African Women Architects

Posted in Design

In recent years, women architects have gained more influence in their field, developing innovative approaches to practice and design. They are using local materials and techniques to design and deliver buildings for longevity. Some are facing challenges since non-designers often build their own homes, shops, schools, and other structures. So, they need to show that their innovative approaches will improve people’s lifestyle, helping urban areas develop cohesively and sustainably.

Doreen Adengo

Nationality: Uganda
Notable work: African Mobilities
Studio: Adengo Architecture

Doreen Adengo is an architect born in 1976 in Kampala, Uganda. After completing her studies in architecture, she worked for various design firms in London, Washington DC, and New York. She has taught studio courses in New York, and founded her own studio in Kampala. Adengo’s work includes the design of affordable housing, schools, and a mobile medical clinic that incorporates ecologically sensitive elements such as solar panels and water harvesting capabilities. She is the conservation architect of the Uganda Museum, a 1940s modernist building selected for a Getty conservation grant last year, and is an expert on modernist architecture in Africa.

Housing by Doreen Adengo

Building by Doreen Adengo

Mariam Kamara

Nationality: Niger
Notable work: Niamey Cultural Centre, Niger
Studio: Atelier Masomi

Born in 1979 in France, Mariam Kamara is a Nigerien architect interested in developing urban design projects with a social and cultural impact. She was a software developer for several years before enrolling an architecture program in 2010. Following her graduation, Kamara worked with united4design – a global collective of architects – on the UNHabitat project that aimed to rehabilitate an urban village in Niamey, Niger. This project was delivered as the Niamey 2000, an affordable middle class housing pilot project that uses appropriate materials and passive techniques to decrease energy consumption. In her current work, Kamara seeks to develop innovative ways of using local, renewable, and low-cost materials, while exploring new adaptations of local architectural techniques.

Hikma Complex by Mariam Kamara

Regional Market by Mariam Kamara

Tosin Oshinowo

Nationality: Nigeria
Notable work: Maryland Mall, Nigeria
Studio: cmDesign Atelier

Tosin Oshinowo is a Nigerian architect whose ultimate goal is to create architecture that leaves people with a very strong memory. Interested in architecture at an early age, she studied architecture and urban design in London. Upon her graduation, Oshinowo worked for various architectural firms in Europe and Africa before founding her own consultancy practice in 2012. She has worked on a variety of commercial and residential projects including apartments, and luxurious private beach houses. She has designed the Maryland Mall, a five storey building shopping complex popularly known as the “big black box”. She often collaborates with other artists on creative projects such as the renovation of an old office flat with Victor Ehikhamenor, a prominent Nigerian artist.

Maryland Mall by Tosin Oshinowo

Maryland Mall by Tosin Oshinowo

Nadia Tromp

Nationality: South Africa
Notable work: Westbury Clinic, South Africa
Studio: Ntsika Architects, South Africa

Born in 1977 in Fishhoek, South Africa, Nadia Tromp is an architect who prioritizes social impact in her design. During her studies in architecture, she volunteered at a community based organization focused on the upliftment of the historically disadvantaged community of Ocean View through access to housing and social amenities. This approach has informed much of her work. Through the lens of social justice, Tromp reflects on the lack of quality public spaces and buildings within marginalized communities of Johannesburg. She has collaborated with the government in the delivery of clinics, and is working on projects in the civic sphere.

Westbury Clinic by Nadia Tromp

Westbury Center by Nadia Tromp


Posted in Design  |  March 13, 2021