Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/220155
Title: ENVELOPE VIVISECTION: A CRITIQUE OF GHANA �S MODERNIST TROPICALITY 1946 - 67
Authors: TAN HONG YANG JASON
Keywords: Architecture
Design Track
DT
Master (Architecture)
Erik Gerard L’Heureux
2015/2016 Aki DT
Issue Date: 11-Jan-2016
Citation: TAN HONG YANG JASON (2016-01-11). ENVELOPE VIVISECTION: A CRITIQUE OF GHANA �S MODERNIST TROPICALITY 1946 - 67. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The period during which Ghana was the political and economic centre of Africa conceived of architectures proportional to that of the nation’s triumphant independence. The book-ends of 1946 to 67 represent a comprehensive timeline that marks the various points of development for selected institutions from the ten years before and ten years after Ghana gained its freedom in 1957. This event was as pivotal for Africa as it was for the former Gold Coast as it paved the way for the liberation of the rest of the continent. The resultant architecture reflects this optimism in structural, climatic and aesthetic innovation as the industrial spirit of the west was mutated with equatorial considerations and cultural sensibilities. The structures stand today as remnants of a historical significance that catalysed African freedom towards a unified and prosperous future. Unfortunately, the continent’s journey has since been in decline and the expected legacy of its architecture of independence has experienced a similar misfortune. While remaining highly relevant to an international discourse of tropical modernity, the endurance of the selected works through this decline tells a story of their relevance to a nation that has forgotten its modernist roots. The various modifications and lack of preservation throughout the past 60 years reflects this culminated devaluation of architecture within the region. A clinical vivisection of the current buildings reveals the weathering effects of time, users and authorities and critiques the applicability of such architectures in present day Ghana as well as Africa. The envelope, both visible and invisible, is the object of inquiry and shall be celebrated in its performative merits but condemned in its lack of resilience. From the unadulterated schools of Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew, to the desecration of one of James Cubitt’s modernist icons, to the pristinely maintained tropical dwelling of Kenneth Scott, this comprehensive and focussed journey through a fragment of equatorial West Africa interprets the story of a struggling nation and continent through its early modernist architecture.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/220155
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Restricted)

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