Accra is under construction… but who for?

Accra is building. Everywhere you turn you are likely to see cranes jutting out its skies. The construction site has become commonplace in the city with its newfound appetite for building — demolishing what was and rebuilding gigantic structures in their place. Everywhere is building; from shopping malls to offices to hospitals to homes to bridges… I wonder what this means. The metal scaffold is one marker of this phenomenon. I take it as the one symbol of reference for change; the radical spatial changes Accra is undergoing now.

The metal scaffold, for me, retains memories of what was. It is a reminder of demolition. Of rebuilding. This paradoxical function (one more abstract and a mind process) makes it a compelling material to work with. My relation to it is bitter-sweet. When i encounter it i think of all my favorite places i have lost through urban regeneration; I also think of possibilities. Like memory, it is temporary — there for a period and then its not. It becomes a permanent system of arrangement when in use. It is modular. It is scalable. It builds an accretion of its form on itself. When used to busy the facades of buildings the complex composition of lines — zig-zagging, diagonal, vertical, horizontal — always creates a visually engaging moment through my wanderings in the city.


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