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Weaving Central Africa's architectural heritage into modern design education and practice

Kinshasa: Towards a new modernity

Kinshasa, gigantic metropolis and capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is located on the south bank of the Congo River; it is one of the largest cities in sub-Saharan Africa. The inhabitants of the city commonly called Kinois are, if not musicians, great music lovers giving the city of Kinshasa a rich cultural identity where music, notably Congolese rumba, is a social practice based on sharing and a essential factor of intercultural dialogue and social cohesion. The climate is hot all year round, with a dry season from May to September and a rainy season from October to May punctuated by severe storms that occur frequently but rarely last more than a few hours.

Kribi: From seaside town to port city

Kribi is the main seaside town of Cameroon. Located in the Southern region of Cameroon, approximately 160 kilometers south of the city of Douala, the largest city in the country, Kribi is full of magnificent sandy beaches bordered by the Atlantic Ocean.

Malinkés from Ivory Coast

The Ivory Coast is full of a multiplicity of traditional areas, each with its own type of habitat. Each traditional habitat is adapted to the social structures and lifestyles of its indigenous populations. Indeed, the particular and intimate understanding of the living environment has as a corollary a perfect integration into the environment with a specific terminology composed of spatial descriptors serving not only to describe the physical space but also to define the relationship between space and the activities for which it supports, as well as the deep, symbolic and cultural aspects it contains. It is a breeding ground for the use of local materials such as earth, wood, raffia and other plants.
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What - people say
"Architecture transcends aesthetics, embracing social, ethical, and political dimensions. In a world grappling with unchecked urban expansion and global challenges, architects bear the responsibility to address environmental imbalances and social inequalities. Amid climate crises and geopolitical shifts, the discipline emerges as a crucial public asset, offering innovative solutions."
Présidente UIA 2023
Regina Gonthier
President of the International Union of Architects
"Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, a figure of profound admiration, these words beautifully capture the essence of ESSACA: to breathe in the unmistakable vitality of Africa's presence in the world. ESSACA molds students who, as bearers of architectural identity, not only absorb the contemporary discourse but exhale it intertwined with local culture. In a century yearning for fresh perspectives, Africa requires 'cultural creatives'—architects capable of shaping tomorrow's challenges. Thus, architecture becomes a vital force. "
Jean-Jacques Kotto
Jean-Jacques Kotto
Architect, Urban Planner, Executive Director of ESSACA, former President of the Union of Architects of Africa
"To transmit is a duty, ensuring the continuity of an ideology based on architecture that is conscious of socio-economic and cultural challenges, issues of well-being, climate, and resilient communities. To educate to transform realities for the benefit of humanity, to teach to ensure the resilience of communities around architecture and to share to protect achievements and safeguard intangible heritage."
Jean-Paul Ndongo
Ndongo Jean-Paul Henri
Architect, Graphic Designer and Photographer
"I have the opportunity to supervise the students of this school, within a workshop, which carries a post-architectural growth vision, as an intergenerational transmission belt.This awareness of our youth on the significant creation of tropicalized territorial planning is a reality. I invite you to explore our educational universe in greater depth, at your convenience.This obvious gateway to culturally anchored architectural biomimicry is obvious, but also an important lever for social, societal, economic and sustainable development."
Cyrille Moukoko Ndoumbe
Cyrille Moukoko Ndoumbe
Post-Growth & Bio-Ethic Architect Researcher - Founder & Chairman of ArBiO & Partners
"It is our duty as architects to rise above Africa’s major challenge of poverty and corruption to make the best out of our continent. Our mission further entails encouraging our governments to invest in R & D (Research and Development) with emphasis on our local building materials which will develop our identities and vernacular architecture to avoid the extinction of our cultural values. Research and Development will regenerate our dead and forgotten industries that where initially brought into existence for the purpose of developmental growth and providing employment."
Tokumbo Omisore
Tokunbo Omisore
Past President of Africa Union of Architects
"UIA is proud to be associated with the school as it saws the founding of the school. It is the custodian of the UNESCO-UIA Charter for Architectural Education that provides a framework for a global standard education and training to be an Architect. It has a vision to ensure that countries are endowed with sufficient number of trained Architects who will contribute to the sustainable development of their nation. The African continent is seen as a region of tremendous growth and development. It is crucial that the development of local talents and professionals is in consonance with the demands of the country developments. Therefore, the establishment of ESSACA is certainly timely and welcomed."
Esa Mohamed
Esa Mohamed
Past President of the International Union of Architects
News

UIA Copenhague 2023

67th Congress of the International Union of Architects (UIA) and World Student Summit - Copenhagen from 01 to 06 July 2023.

ESSACA at the crossroads of FEICOM and Local Authorities

Visit to FEICOM's new headquarters and opportunities for cross-fertilisation

ESSACA at Yaoundé 4

ESSACA beside YAOUNDE IV to deal with environmental issues.

ESSACA back to school (2023-2024)

Integration week for the 2023-2024 academic year
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FAQ's
What is ESSACA?
ESSACA is a school of architecture affiliated with the University of Douala created in 2009.
What is the speciality of ESSACA?
ESSACA is a school of architecture with the objectives of enhancing the African cultural heritage and adapting to the standard of living of the populations while being part of an international reference framework.
Where is ESSACA located?
ESSACA is located at N° 217 Rue 1762 Bastos Nylon, Yaoundé, Cameroun. Latitude: 3.885147 Longitude: 11.514389.
What are the opening hours?
ESSACA is open from Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. The school is closed during school holidays.
Does ESSACA have partners?
Yes, ESSACA has signed several partnership agreements with
− Public institutions
− Schools of architecture
− Local authorities
− International organisations.

Do you have more questions?

Check out our carefully curated questions or contact us.