Old buildings shining over new buildings in Lilongwe


A number of buildings in Lilongwe’s City Centre were constructed in the late twentieth century including the Kang’ombe House which used to be the tallest building before the former president, late Bingu Wa Mutharika built the 5 Star Hotel in 2015.

Isn’t this concerning? Old buildings shining over newly constructed ones?

The 21st Century is positioned to grip a number of innovative advancements in various endeavors surpassing the previous century. However, the components of 21st Century prioritizes critical thinking which enables Architects, Quantity Surveyors , Engineers, among others, to creatively broaden their skills in construction inorder to standardize the buildings.

Poor building structures ranging from poor planning to design are being developed largely in area 13 (City Centre) Lilongwe.

“Foreigners particularly Asians are culprits for fronting on constructing substandard buildings” says Innocent K Ngalande – a concerned citizen.

It is Only one Sparc Building owned by a Malawian business tycoon Mr. Wisely Phiri, which has been embraced with a contemporary visibility aligned to architectural fraternity regardless it’s average height.

“Quantity surveying itself by professional is limited on how much it can contribute to this matter because this is a planning issue, the duty of Quantity Surveyor during design is to come up with cost estimating, planning, studies, among others. I think our main focus should be based on who approves the design of the structure”, said Akuzike Saidi Banda- a Quantity Surveyor.

New building

The perception of beauty and aesthetics in architecture is subjective and can vary widely from person to person. However, there are several reasons why some buildings may be considered ugly or not well-designed in terms of aesthetics.

One of Malawi’ Architect, Charles Nyanda of ArchGreen Associates said lack of planning and design expertise are the reasons why some buildings may not have been designed by skilled architects or may have been constructed without careful planning. In such cases, the lack of expertise in design principles can result in buildings that are aesthetically unpleasing.

“In the selection process of bidders, professional Architects never win tenders,”he added.

Urban governance and development fall under the Lilongwe City Council which was created by law under the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi. The Council is mandated to provide a wide range of municipal services to its residents and to mobilise resources for service delivery and to make bylaws.

Commenting on the issue, Mr. Richard Banda, Mayor of Lilongwe City, said he is aware of the matter and he took an action by stopping everyone building substandard structures.

“It is documented that buildings ranging from one-plus-five and above are accepted, however, others do not abide by the laws. Considering the transition between City Centre and area 13 is within spitting distance, my dominance objective is to ensure new buildings constructed should transcend the old ones in terms of easthetics to maintain the face of City Centre,” said Richard Banda- incumbent Mayor.

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