Home development firms, architects and designers across Africa are not only providing a solution to the continent’s housing problems, especially in big cities, but are also contributing to building up the continent’s urban living centres with creative architecture and luxurious living in contemporary spaces.
Jonathan Liebmann is the brains behind Johannesburg’s eclectic and urban Maboneng Precinct, which attracts residents, art lovers, and business owners who love the urban setting of South Africa’s wealthiest city.
Jonathan founded his development company Propertuity in 2007 and has since developed the Maboneng Precinct into an area for business, living, and entertainment. His vision for the precinct is to create the best and coolest neighbourhood that reflects South Africa’s diversity while catering to the needs of residents and business owners. The company has its eye on Ghana’s capital, Accra, to follow the same business model as it has in Johannesburg to build up the capital’s urban living with creative architecture alternatives.
Cargotecture, which is a growing architectural trend that makes apartments out of shipping containers, is something that is growing in Lagos, Nigeria as a solution to the city’s housing problems. Tempohousing Nigeria is a real estate development company that uses ISO shipping containers to build apartments in the West African nation.
They focus on 3 main markets: staff housing for employees in the oil mining and infrastructure industries, student housing, and residential housing. Building with shipping containers adds to the ease of construction and affordability, all while creating housing for those living in Lagos.
Sigona Valley Project
Sigona Valley Project is a notable housing project in Nairobi, Kenya that combines affordable and comfortable housing while addressing the city’s housing shortages. It is a gated housing project located just outside Nairobi that builds three and four bedroom villas in three different house designs, targeting the middle-income market segment. Gated communities are built outside the city in the beautiful natural surrounds of the Suswa Mountains and Ngong Hills.
The project is the brainchild of two IT professionals, Kimiti Wanjaria and Ian Kahara, and is worth $4.2 million.
Tayo Sonuga is the Managing Director of Haven Homes in Nigeria, and his property development company builds unique homes in the West African nation designed to fit the climate and environment of the region.
Creative architectural features of the homes include large windows to bring in natural light and atriums to create a contemporary look by combining open spaces with natural plants and water features.
Haven Homes was birthed in 2005 when Sonuga realized that there was a market for affordable luxury homes in Nigeria. What sets the company apart is the niche of luxury homes built for middle class earners, paying attention to the quality of construction as well as modern design.
Peter Muraya is a real estate developer and CEO of one of Kenya’s fastest growing real estate companies Suraya Property Group. The group develops affordable housing in Nairobi targeting middle-income earners. The business opened its doors in 2003, and as a trained architect, Muraya aspired to impact as many people as possible through providing affordable and well-built homes, apartments, and luxury penthouses, fitting in with the contemporary urban Nairobi.
Business wasn’t always smooth for the entrepreneurial Muraya, who had 3 failed businesses before partnering with a friend to put together capital for their first project of 16 apartments. He advises entrepreneurs to never lose faith in their business ideas and work and to research the field they want to enter into thoroughly to minimize loss.