2006 / Maximiliano Fuksas
African Institute of Science and Technology


Projet team:
Grazia Patruno, Annunziata Del Monaco, Nicola Cabiati, Frauke Stenz, Luigi valente

Client: Nelson Mandela Institution
Area: 240000 mq
Type: on going

The African Institute of Science and Technology has as its main inspiration the effort to foster Africaís economic, social and political growth and development through the promotion of excellence in education.

 Africa is a continent plagued by numerous civil wars, by poverty and lack of education, but is also a land endowed with great natural beauty, cultural richness and diversity and characterized by Nations with a strong will to live, thrive and grow. In this context, architecture should therefore reflect the will to create a pan-African campus, a world class institution dedicated to academic freedom and peaceful coexistence between all African people.

The proposed design aspires to wisely combine African tradition and cultural values with innovation applied to construction and cutting edge building management.

Architecture adapts to geography as a patchwork of African weavings.

The linking needle points to Aso Rock, which means "victorious" in the language of the (now displaced) Asokoro (ìthe people of victoryî). A visual axis towards the holy rock, a path that will drive students to their individual ìvictoriesî, to become the outstanding professionals who will use their knowledge and leadership to transform local communities and improve the human condition across the African continent.

 Built for the private organization The Nelson Mandela Institution for Knowledge Building and the Advancement of Science and Technology in Sub-Saharan Africa, the 2.6 million-square-foot, $360 million complex provides research and education facilities for scientists and engineers. Faculty and administration buildings surround the central Nelson Mandela Square.

Constructed from local timber, stone and brick, campus buildings incorporate sustainable technologies, such as water harvesting and photovoltaic technology. Traditional textile patterns and African “red earth” structures inspired Fuksas’s design: In plan view, residential quarters are designed as long, sinuous interconnecting shapes. Individual faculty complexes, each one different from the other, comprise buildings grouped around internal streets and courtyards. Vertical openings in the buildings’ timber skin will filter light and promote natural ventilation.

The site is be crossed by access roads linking the institute to a planned public park and open-air museum on a former mining site to the west and a future sports complex to the south. The Abuja Technology Village, a cluster of high-technology companies and for-profit research intuitions, will develop around the campus.