Khartoum, Sudan

Sudan, located in North Africa and divided into east and west by the world’s longest river the Nile, is known for its diverse architecture and culture. It has Sudan has 597 groups that speak over 400 different languages and dialects and that’s a lot, this shows clearly in the architecture of Sudan where each group has its own building techniques depending on the nature of the area and culture.

Sudan was home to numerous ancient civilizations, such as the Kingdom of Kush, Kerma, Nobatia, Alodia, Makuria, Meroë and others, most of which flourished along the Nile. During the pre-dynastic period Nubia and Nagadan Upper Egypt were identical, simultaneously evolved systems of Pharaonic kingship by 3300 BC.

Courtesy of Retlaw Snellac - Western Deffufa in the ancient city of Kerma

Courtesy of Retlaw Snellac – Western Deffufa in the ancient city of Kerma

Khartoum, the capital of sudan and second largest city, located at the confluence of the White Nile, flowing north from Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile, flowing west from Ethiopia . Architecture of Khartoum can’t be identified by one style or even two styles its as diverse as it’s culture, where 597 different cultural groups meet. In this article I chose 10 buildings of Khartoum to showcase this diversity in buildings’ shapes, materials, treatments.

1. Corinthia Hotel

A 5 star high rise hotel and one of the highest buildings in Khartoum, completed in 2008.

Courtesy of Abushakeema - Corinthia Burj AlFatih Hotel

Courtesy of Abushakeema – Corinthia Burj AlFatih Hotel

2. Farouq Mosque

“The sandstone-clad building is skillfully engraved with Islamic ornamentation reflecting the religious symbolism of the mosque” says Mohamed AbdelAziz a young Sudanese architect.

Photography by Abushakeema – Farouq Mosque

3. Sudanese Kuwaiti Center

High rise pre-cast concrete building, first of its kind completed in 1973. The elevation creates contrast pattern with light and shadow through the same element repeated in different angles creating a pattern.

Photography by Abushakeema – Sudanese Kwuaiti Center

4. Mahjoub Residence

Winner of the African Property Awards of 2013-2014 for the category of Best Architecture Multi-Residence Building in Africa, known for its unique non-local materials and modern design.

Photography by Abushakeema – Mahjoub Residence

5. Al Neilin Mosque

A unique modern design with careful care for the smallest details where AC units are hidden gracefully in ornamented shapes, showing a great mix of Nubian Islamic & Egyptian architecture.

Photography by Abushakeema – Al Neilin Mosque

6. Omdurman Municipality

Completed in 1952, with the use of e local materials and reinforced concrete structure made it one of the first complex structure buildings in Khartoum with beautiful red brick facades .

Photography by Abushakeema – Omdurman Municipality

7. University of Khartoum Main Library

Completed in 1988, with shaded arcades -used as a local environmental solution to create air movement and shade for the building- and beautifully crafted Arches creating a beautiful façade.

Photography by Abushakeema – U of K Main Library

8. NTC Tower

Completed in 2009. National Telecom. Corporation tower is the tallest building in Khartoum with 29 floors 110 meters high, known for its photo-voltaic cells façade.

Photography by Ahmed Abdalla - NTC Tower

Photography of Ahmed Abdalla – NTC Tower

9. Presidential Palace

One of the colonial architecture scenes, made of mud load bearing  walls showcase an outstanding proof local material quality, still standing after more than 100 years.

Courtesy of Africa Rankings - Presidential (Gordon's) Palace

Courtesy of Africa Rankings – Presidential (Gordon’s) Palace

10. BADEA Building

Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, designed by Abdel-Moniem Mustafa one of the first Sudanese architects. Completed in the early 70’s .

Courtesy of BADEA – Arab Bank Building

By Yosra Abdel-Rahman

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