“Big Change / Big Chance”: Africa’s opportunities for the new century, now showing at CIVA Brussels.

The exhibition, made for the Triennale di Milano, will be open until March 1, 2015. Its aim is to approach the continent’s potential through a comprehensive analysis of its landscape, infrastructures and urban development posibilities.


Nouackchott, Mauritanie. Photograph by Jerôme Chenal

Nouackchott, Mauritanie. Photograph by Jerôme Chenal


After its presentation at the Milan Triennale from 15 October to 28 December 2014 , CIVA is pleased to welcome  Africa: Big Change / Big Chance , a richly illustrated and commented exhibition reviewing the architectural and urban situation of an ever-changing continent.

The exhibition aims to address the complex panorama of Africa from an architectural point of view in a context of scarce natural resources and growing urbanization. It will be open until March 1, 2015.


Phases du chantier de déplacement des temples d’Abu Simbel, avec la structure en béton armé de la grande voûte. Abu Simbel, Egypte, 1964-72.

Phases du chantier de déplacement des temples d’Abu Simbel, avec la structure en béton armé de la grande voûte. Abu Simbel, Egypte, 1964-72.


“Big Change, Big Chance”  approaches the continent’s phenomena from the two possible interpretations of Africa’s contemporary architectural “opportunities”. “Change” makes reference to the growing tendency of urban concentration by which an estimated 748 million inhabitants will live in the continent in 2030 -outgrowing Europe’s expected 685 million. “Chance“, on the other hand, presents the achievements of the leading players on the architectural scene in Africa since the post-war period, focusing its unique sense of urban modernity, indifferent to technical or aesthetic considerations.


Champ photovoltaïque à Lesedi, Botswana, 2007
Bulgarproject, National Arts Theatre, Lagos, Nigeria, 1976
Bulgarproject, National Arts Theatre, Lagos, Nigeria, 1976
La Station de pompage Moubarak prélève l’eau du lac Nasser pour l’amener dans le canal Sheikh Zayed, Egypte, 1997
Sir A. Gibb & Partners - A. Coyne-Sogei (auteurs du projet), Impresit Kariba (constructeurs), Diga di Kariba
Dick Van Gameren, Dutch Embassy, Addis Abeba, Etiopie, 2005
Anthony Almeida, Joint Christian Chapel, Dar es Salaam, Tanzanie, 1975.
SPASM Architects, EXIM Tower, Dar es Salaam, Tanzanie, 2009
67 Grande muraille verte africaine, 2013. Fotographie d’Axel Ducorneau


The exhibition is divided into different sections that illustrate urban development in Africa through the most representative cities, such as Lagos, Cairo, and Nairobi, but also through a more comprehensive large-scale point of view, comprising water management projects, energy production facilities and new infrastructural constructions.

Managing large numbers and hypothesis of demographic growth as well as calculations on territorial transformation set the theme for the first half of the exhibition -parts 1 and 2, “the geography of quantities” and “continental architecture”. The second half of the exhibition showcases the continent’s potential for urban development through a historical view on Africa’s modernism and presents the professionals that are likely to shape African cities and landscape in years to come.

The exhibition will be showing works by Ala Kheir (Sudan), Adolphus Opara (Nigeria), Guy Tillim (South Africa), Ali Chraibi (Morocco), Charles Okereke (Nigeria), Kiripi Katembo (Congo), Mack Magagane (South Africa),  Mouna Karray (Tunisia), Nadia Ferroukhi (Algeria), Pierrot Men (Madagascar), Justin Plunkett (South Africa).


9 Justin Plunkett, Skhayas Craper, 2014
Nouackchott, Mauritanie. Photographie de Jerôme Chenal
OBR Architects, Hope City, Accra, Ghana, 2015
Perkins+Will, Universidade Agostinho Neto, Luanda, Angola, 2012
Energoprojekt, Lagos Trade Fair, Lagos, Nigeria, 1976
Luigi Moretti, Hotel El Aurassi, Alger, Algérie, 1968-76
Chyrosz & Rymaszewski, Accra Trade Fair, Accra, Ghana, 1962-67
António Saragga Seabra, Edifício da Autoridade Portuària, Mindelo, Capo Verde, 1962
Claude Strebelle & Yenga, Bâtiment du 30 Juin, Lubumbashi, DR Congo, 1953- 56


The exhibition was made by Triennale di Milano in partnership with CIVA and the Aga Khan Architecture Award.