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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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 .
By Yosra Abdel-Rahman