PIC: Andrew Amara and his brother at the awards
ARCHITECTURE | LAFARGEHOLCIM AWARDS
Two Ugandan projects have been awarded $40,000 (about sh144m) for having a high standard of architectural quality and design that makes a positive and lasting contribution to the physical, human and cultural environment.
Makerere University graduates Andrew Amara and Philip Murungi and Italian firm TAMassociati, have been recognised for designing projects in Gulu and Kampala, respectively at the 5th International LafargeHolcim Awards in sustainable construction in Nairobi.
The awards, which are held once every three years, attracted a total of 5,085 entries by authors in 121 countries. There were only 12 winners in all categories from across the Middle East and Africa.
Amara and Murungi were awarded for designing the second phase of the Odek Centre for Nodding Disease. Competition judge Joe Osae-Addo from Ghana noted that the project, which is set to start in June 2018 in Odek Village in Gulu district, is an exuberant and playful transformation of a healing centre for children, aimed at community-building after decades of conflict.
The Maisha Film lab headquarters design by TAMassociati was applauded for having an impressive gesture of cultural empowerment that is also contextual, well positioned within the landscape and is aesthetically inspiring.
Speaking at the sidelines of the awards, Amara said there is need for architects to craft solutions for the problems that face the majority of Ugandans and not the 15% wealthiest in society.
“We need architects who will solve the traffic nightmare and the floods in Kampala. The houses on the market are between sh200m and sh150m, but the average family cannot afford, let’s have reasonably priced homes,” he said. “Young architects should not stick to the rules; there is so much copy and paste in the industry. They should think of new and innovative things,” Amara added.