J. Max Bond Jr. and the appropriation of modernism in a library design in Ghana

Allan Balaara, Errol Haaroff, Alessandro Melis

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The paper draws on Bond’s architectural influences and critical thoughts on architecture in the context of his design response in the Bolgatanga Regional Library, to advance the idea on hybrid modernism in postcolonial Ghana. Bond considered the Library his first independent work and the most profound. However, as an architect-academic working alongside some of the celebrated modernist practitioners, Bond’s Library appears fairly influenced. Bond’s expression of modernism in the Library reflects the mediation of three cultures: the northern vernacular building culture and the weather; the principles of Western modernism; and his hybrid experiences. His response, much like other socio-climatic responses known to late tropical practices in Ghana, demonstrated how the architecture of the marginalised manifesting in concrete, also constitutes a reflection of the postcolonial mediation of space. Bond achieved this through relating to both the ideological and experiential approach to modernist regionalism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-374
Issue number3
Early online date26 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


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