Imagining Architecture: The Structure of Nationalism in Accra, Ghana

  title={Imagining Architecture: The Structure of Nationalism in Accra, Ghana},
  author={Janet Berry Hess},
  journal={Africa Today},
  pages={35 - 58}
  • J. Hess
  • Published 1 May 2000
  • History
  • Africa Today
The architecture of the capital city of Ghana in the independence era suggests an identification between architecture and a consciously managed national ideal. This article examines the history of architecture and spatial organization in Accra, focusing upon the symbiosis between British administrative and local commercial interests and on British colonial efforts to segregate and regulate architectural space. It also explores the Nkrumah administration's reconfiguration of colonial… 

Exhibiting Ghana: Display, Documentary, and “National” Art in the Nkrumah Era

  • J. Hess
  • Sociology, Art
    African Studies Review
  • 2001
Abstract: The privileging of representation as a means of securing epistemological or ideological systems has been regarded as a Western phenomenon. The employment of cultural exhibitions,

Imagining Architecture II: "Treasure Storehouses" and Constructions of Asante Regional Hegemony

British colonial destruction of the Asante capital of Kumasi, Ghana—including the Asantehene's palace, rebuilt as a military fort on the site of a ceremonial gathering ground—profoundly altered the

Phoenix Rise: A History of the Architectural Reconstruction of the Burnt City of Kumase, 1874–1960

abstract:This work presents a history of the reconstruction of the architectural landscape and built environment of Kumase, the traditional capital of the Asante nation of the Gold Coast (now Ghana),

The global and the local: urban change in Cape Coast from pre-colonial times to the present

This paper seeks to examine how global forces interact with the local ones to shape the urban landscape of Cape Coast, Ghana. Three distinct periods are examined: the pre-colonial and colonial

Urban futures

This article offers an analytical reflection on how urban futures have been imagined throughout history and into the present. Considering this question at a global scale, it examines the place of

Invented Modernisms: Getting to Grips with Modernity in Three African State Buildings

Abstract This article examines recent attempts to create specifically African forms of modernist political architecture that draw on ‘traditional’ or ‘pre‐colonial’ aesthetic forms and ideas. Taking

“Everybody Thinks They Can Build”: The Architect as Cultural Intermediary in Ghana

This paper focuses on the culture within which the architect operates in contemporary Ghana, but outside of the office, in society at large, theorising that this professional is a cultural mediator,

Incremental infrastructures: material improvisation and social collaboration across post-colonial Accra

Approaching the informal construction and extension of infrastructures through the terrain of what I term “the incremental” opens up new platforms of analysis for post-colonial urban systems. This

The changing face of Ghanaian towns

The paper argues that the face of Ghanaian towns has changed since the initial contact with the colonialists. Investments in infrastructure, urbanisation and enhanced economic activities have

Masks, Elephants, and Djembe Drums: Craft as Historical Experience in Ghana

Abstract This article analyzes craft in a national culture and tourist art center in Ghana. Honing in on three distinct, coexisting craft worlds—a handicraft market, commercial woodcarving, and the



Architecture, power, and national identity

Throughout history, architecture and urban design have been manipulated in the service of politics. Because government buildings serve as symbols of the state, we can learn much about a political

Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism

What makes people love and die for nations, as well as hate and kill in their name? While many studies have been written on nationalist political movements, the sense of nationality - the personal

The Rise of the Akwamu Empire, c. 1650-1710

Little is known of the origins of the Akwamu state. It is not until Akwamu emerges as a coastal and imperial power, in the latter half of the seventeenth century, that there commence numerous

The International Style

This work sets out to describe the aesthetic qualities intrinsic to the work of such architects as Le Corbusier, Oud, Gropius and Mies van der Rohe. The authors observed the distinguishing features

Accra Survey

  • 1972

A Geographical Interpretation of the European Influence on Accra, Ghana Since 1877

  • 1972

Accra: A Study

  • 1964

Ghana and the Rawlings factor