African architecture and built environment

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Now maintained at: (Google Doc, open to all to comment/suggest).


Asomani-Boateng, R. (2011). "Borrowing from the past to sustain the present and the future: indigenous African urban forms, architecture, and sustainable urban development in contemporary Africa." Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability, 4(3), 239–262.

Bourdier, Jean-Paul, and Trinh Minh-ha. Drawn from African Dwelling (1996). On Internet Archive - borrowable for 1hr at a time:

Denyer. African Traditional Architecture (1978).

Eglash, Ron. (1999). African Fractals: Modern Computing and Indigenous Design. Rutgers University Press, 1999. ISBN 9780813526140. Available from Library Genesis.

Elleh, Nnamdi. African Architecture: Evolution and Transformation (McGraw Hill,1997).

so far the broadest, most extensively researched, best illustrated survey, a landmark work. Unfortunately, not very available - $85 used online, no previews on Amazon or Google Books. Elleh is Associate Professor of Architecture, History and Theory at the University of Cincinnati. He was trained as an architect and received his PhD in art history from Northwestern University.

Freund, Bill. (2007). The African City: A History. Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9780521821094. Available from Library Genesis.

Gardi, René. Indigenous African Architecture (1973).

On Internet Archive - borrowable for 1hr at a time:

Garlake, Peter. Early Art and Architecture of Africa (Oxford University Press, 2002).

Full edition on ISSUU (online reading only): Internet Archive - borrowable for 1hr at a time:

Hull, Richard. African Cities and Towns before the European Conquest (1976).

Koutonin, Mawuna. (2016). "Story of cities #5: Benin City, the mighty medieval capital now lost without trace." The Guardian, 18 Mar 2016.

Kulterman, Udo Kultermann. (1969). New Directions in African Architecture. London: Studio Vista, 1969. ISBN 289-79674-1. Available from Library Genesis.

Meuser, Philipp, and Adli Dalbai, editors.(2021). Sub-Saharan Africa Architectural Guide. DOM publishers, €148.

Myers, Garth A. (2011). African Cities: Alternative Visions of Urban Theory and Practice. Zed Books, 2011. ISBN 9781848135109. Available from Library Genesis.