By Victoria Rovine
University of Florida (formerly University of Iowa)

Burkina Faso. University of Ouagadougou. Photo by Christopher D. Roy.

African architecture is often very sophisticated in its adaptation to local materials and climate. In arid regions where tall trees are not available, people build with bricks of dried mud and straw. Where stone and labor are available, African builders have created structures of amazing strength and sophistication. In many urban areas today, multi-storied buildings made of steel and concrete are more common than structures in any specifically African style. This is one of the modern university buildings, which houses the language laboratory in Ouagadougou.