Kariakoo Market, Dar es Salaam

Featured Image Source: Muddyb, Under Creative Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kariakoo_view1.png

Kariakoo Market is a large covered market in the Kariakoo neighbourhood in Dar es Salaam. The market is on of the largest in the city and the largest covered market in the country. The market is situated between Nyamwezi street, Tandamuti street, Mkunguni street and Swahili street. The market sprawls out around the market building, the covered area houses shops that sell more expensive goods. These shops are spread over two floors.

Source: Emil Sjöblom, Under Creative Commons, https://www.flickr.com/photos/emilsjoblom/3490222669/

The market was designed by Beda Amuli. Beda Amuli was one of the first East Africans to set up his own architectural firm in Africa. Construction started in 1972 and the building was completed in 1974. The building is not only a great example of brutalist architecture but also an example of sustainable design. The tree-shaped roof and column allow rainwater to be caught and captured in underground water tanks. The large openings allow air to flow through freely and keep the building cool in the hot weather.

Source: Third World Architecture, Under Creative Commons

Beda Amuli wanted to create a truly African marketplace and said, ‘an African market is normally under trees, so we made trees out of concrete’, of his design for the roof. The hyperbolic shaped roof is set on thin columns. This shape is not only very strong but also gives the market an almost Gothic look. The buildings wide use of concrete is typical for its time. Although concrete is normally thought of as a strong but dark and hard material, Beda Amuli has used the concrete to create a light and tactile roof that allows shoppers to feel welcome and comfortable. The roof also creates a little bit of shade around the building due to the roof overhanging the walls of the building.

The building has been an important building in the city and has helped the economy of Kariakoo and the city as a whole. The market has become an important area to buy food and other household items but also a social meeting area with bars and food courts around the area. It is an important architectural masterpiece of truly African design and shows how African cities can use their history and culture to create unique buildings that work in the continent’s culture and climate. Not asking the people to change their lives to alien architecture but rather design with the human perspective and the end user in mind.

Sources: Architectuul, Power of Culture, Architecture in Development, Structurae, Jengo Sanifu Magazine, SOS Brutalism

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