The African country is known for its richness of culture, religious beliefs, and spirituality reflected in the form of its architectural environment. The reflection is evident as we move from one region of Africa to another. African Architecture through different tones inter-linked with vibrant colors in sculptures, architecture, and art. The palette has a structure of storyline conveying life and joyful meaning to the elements. The exterior color template used has a deep symbolic cultural identity to the region, directly expressing the values and aspirations of the place.  

Spiritual Beliefs in Architecture:

A spiritual experience through the connection between the past and the present, carrying it forward to the future. In the development form with deep-rooted traditional architecture and construction strategies. The orientation of the building layout is always linked to the direction of the sun with north, south, east, and west. Squares, circles, and triangles are sacred geometric patterns integrated with the design to create a balanced and harmonious environment. 

Symbolism in African Architecture:

The Motifs and Ornamentation are the authentic symbolism of African architecture. The ornamentations and motifs are the highlights of the architectural elements with cultural and religious patterns. The form of tradition used in the architecture speaks out loud about African spirituality and culture. The choice of color intends to convey spirituality. For example, white represents peace and spirituality, and red symbolizes life and strength adding meaning to the storyline which they are trying to convey in the form of architecture. The connection between the land and the people to build sustainable structures is part of the traditional beliefs to carry for future generations. In a few regions of Africa, there are influences of Islam, Christian, and colonial architecture blending in with the spirituality of the local region giving a unique style of its own.


In African culture, a certain type of wood and stone signifies the spiritual through material usage. Hardwood is used in buildings near the forest region. Earthen elements such as clay, are used for building resources. The soil is semidesert laterite in Africa, has low fertility, but is easy to compact. 

Examples of Architectural structures:

The Tiebele Village:

The Tiebele Village with sacred geometric patterns_

In Burkina Faso, Western Africa. The houses in this village are constructed by the Kassena, one of the oldest ethnic groups of people, and are known to be “Kassena” Houses. The functional houses are rich in the tradition and culture belonging to the community. The construction strategy is to use locally available materials with mud to be shaped in the wall and sun-dried. The intricate geometric patterns on the wall are the unique features of the Tiebele houses. The colors used are of natural pigment. The sustainable material used for the roof is thatch, which protects from the sun and rain and provides insulation for the interior. The socialization of the community every house has a circular or rectangular courtyard in the center with other rooms around.

Clay Palace of Ghardaia:

The Clay Palace of Ghardaia with mud walls and arched hardwood doors.

The Saharan Architectural style structure is also known as Beni Ishuen Palace. The architectural layout and the material used are the mud bricks for the courtyard house which practiced the same throughout the M’Zab valley serving the natural ventilation for comfortable interior habitation. The palace has high walls with limited entry and exit to defend itself from harsh desert weather and potential threats. 

Hausa Architecture:

The art of Hausa Architecture with vibrant colors and arched openings.

The largest ethnic group in Africa, the architectural heritage is influenced by the tradition and culture of the community. Like the previous materials used even in Hausa Architecture, mudbricks are the fundamental material made by mixing the mud with clay and straw framed in bricks and drying them in the sun known as “dugut” by the Hausa group majority of them are Muslims due which the Islamic Architecture has a great influence in the buildings featuring domes, minarets and ornates. The Verandas are common spatial arrangements for socialization and shade from the extreme sun, with intricate symbols on wooden columns. 

Beehive Huts- Eswatini:

The Beehive hut in a circular layout with dome structure.

It was formerly known as Swaziland associated with the Swazi group of people. The structure resembles the name given as beehives. In this vernacular architecture, the circular dome serves as a skeleton with thin grass tightly covering the structure, adapting the exterior climatic conditions with interior heating and cooling interior. Historically, the number of huts owned by the family indicates the social status. They are used for homes for families, storage areas, and cultural events in rural areas. Beehive Huts have even become one of the tourist attractions in Africa.


African Architecture has proven to retain spirituality through symbolic traditional construction integrating with environmental factors for a deep meaning to the life of architecture in this region. The unique style of architecture developed with the different religious influences. The construction techniques and vernacular materials have been carried forward to modern times, reflecting in the form of environmental architecture.


(2020). 54 Structures That Prove African Architecture Is Widely Underrated. Matador Network, Available at:  [Accessed: 15 September 2023].

Yakubu, P. (2023). Motifs and Ornamentations: Inspirations Behind the Colors of African Traditional Architecture, ArchDaily. Available at:  [Accessed: 15 September 2023].

Geographic influences. Encyclopædia Britannica, Available at:  [Accessed: 16 September 2023].



She is a person with an exponential interest in creating human thoughts into words and design. She also believes in a journey of new experiences and learning by traveling with time. Her way of balancing life explains the way she lives.