File: President Rupiah Banda is shown an artistic impression of the re-developed Society house and Central Arcade by Zambia National Building Society Managing Director Noriana Muneku at the ground breaking ceremony in Lusaka

The architect who has re-designed Lusaka’s Society House, says once completed, the building will be a symbol of Zambia’s economic re-emergence.

Robert Silke, is an architect with Louis Karol, an Architectural firm based in South Africa.

Mr Silke says the building, which will be adorned in Copper, will raise the profile of property development in Lusaka and attract other similar world class properties to the city.

He was speaking to ZNBC in Lusaka on Thursday when Zambezi consortium, the project developers, held a public hearing on the project.

And Zambezi Consortium Representative, Rennie Mushinga says the construction of the new Society House which will be completed in June 2014, will create about 500 jobs during the construction phase.

Mr Mushinga has disclosed that construction has already begun, with the demolition of the Central Arcade, which is located behind Society House.

Society House, which was gutted in 1997, will be turned into a hotel, while the Central Arcade will have a shopping centre and a parking deck with space for one thousand cars.

[ZNBC]

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39 COMMENTS

  1. …Ba kabolala! Don’t we have Zambian enginees/achitects to do the job but only in RSA? Its like being married for 47 years without a child…

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    • Do you know what architecture is about? Ideas and it’s an art and by nature transcends boundaries. There is nothing to stop Zambains from tendering their ideas, say, in the UK. If your idea is the most desireable you are given the contract. Check who is behind the Shard in London, for example? If you do not understand what is happening it’s ok.

      Unless of course you are just xenophobic.

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  2. well done GRZ. Bring the good to our land. I only wished it could be done in 90 days per the thinking of some wankers

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  3. chumbu munshululwa and Mpika Boy – Mr. Rennie Mushinge (not Mushinga) is a renowned Zambian civil/structural engineer. Though I wonder also why they had to use a South African Architect.

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  4. people these politicians take us for serious fools, from the onset you can see the building is not for Zambia… designer, engineer and all are mukwerekwere. a hotel to house foreigners shopping center with foreign shops. that is nonsense. society strata, i guess. for me that’s crap…….. oops forgive my french:((

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  5. Im sure PF would have said that they would re-designed Lusaka’s Society House in 90 day…. But true development does not take that short days to be done. great job RB, i cant wait for Society House to be finished. 

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  6. This is great … yes Zambia has great architects, e.g. Dr Francis Ndilia, late Dr Sam Bwalya, Anderson & Anderson, Walusiku Lisulo, Rogers Nkunika, etc, but nothing wrong to use a foreign one so as to add flavour to our buildings unlike seeing the same designs by the same architects, e.g. Walusiku Lisulo’s Provident Fund designs dotted around Zambia and Rogers Nkunika’s modified Independence Stadium. Let Lusaka see variety in designs by allowing foreign concepts and styles.

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  7. The designers have also designed for Abuja inNigeria and are credible. Why then do we have the same styles of buildings and especially compound houses if we had good designers?

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  8. Iam sure there are enough buildings around designed by Zambian architechs for you to judge the type of job they can do. For such jobs people’s Cvs speak for themselves. If there are no Zambians with CVs that speak to that level what do you expect? You want another of those Kamwala style buildings on Cairo road?

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  9. Isnt this the same project post newspaper condemned as if they pay their workers well. ZRA check if POST remits taxes for its employees i rest my case

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  10. Good questions #14, Can we have Zambians redesign Kamwala and Kabwata and Madevu etc? These places are eyesores.

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  11. Chinese architectures are designing big projects mostly in usa,só it’s not strange for a south african to carry out the same in zambia.it’s a global arena..beside that we dont even have world renowned Engineers in zambia finshi ba pulanapo? Kambendekela house?

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  12. Redesign the tallest buliding in zambia called Findeco. Its a sorry sight. only tongas appreciate it!

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  13. I have been surprised, to be polite, by the ignorance in some comments above. If you want Lusaka to look stunning you seek the best architectural designs that apart from being aesthetically appealing are also awe inspiring and use space in innovative ways. As INE ndakutana points out above you can only find those ideas in the open market. Usually, it’s not a committee’s design, but an individual’s expression of talent. Some of the most spectacular ultra modern buildings that I find awe inspiring are by a lady called Zaha Hadid (Iraqi British). Check out some of her work on Wikipedia and you will see that these are scattered around the globe. Soo please cool it.

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  14. People must  separate govt projects from private issues. Society House’s design is not a govt project. Nevertheless that aside, are our institutions producing professionals relevant to our society? Clearly No. As can be seen by the fact that 40 years after independence we ve no local architect to undertake a project like this. I often ask myself why bridges over local rivers are designed by engineers from Europe . Is our education system relevant? Are we just being taught to parrot Europeans? Why are we not being taught to rely on ourselves? What is called initiative is simply missing from all Zambian professions. Why cant a Zambian Doctor discover a cure for AIDS? Why cant a Zambian automotive engineer design a Zambian car? Because they are taught to only lipsync. Politicians answer me

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  15. Dont worry, Zambia is now in middle income group.
    We are coming, watch out.
    We are on the right truck.
    VIVA RB!!!
    VIVA reformed MMD.
    We had:
    1) MMD – liberalisation with FTJ
    2) MMD – New Deal with Levy, and now
    3) MMD – in Action with RB

    Great work going on by RB, the real MAN-OF-ACTION. Go, Go, Go on!!!
    Viva infrastructure!!

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  16. It is misleading for the architect to say that once society house is done it will be a symbol of the economic re-emergence of zambia.Some places which emerged or are economically significant are very unassuming low profile places.Certainly when one thinks of Norway,Denmark or Sweden no fancy buildings come to mind yet these places play big roles in world economy.Closer home there’s Libya and no fancy skyline is there but Libya is well off in Africa.Even some big corporations like BP or Shell and some Japanese companies have small ordinary looking HQ buildings.Lets build zambia for economic viability and not just for show without any meaningful economic foundations.

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  17. y is it tht foreign architects r the ones to do major projects, is it tht zambian architects dnt hve wat zambia needs? dig deeper some employees in these foreign firms r zambians lets chnge da approach……………………!!!!!

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  18. The world has global… who is designing building in Dubai? The problem in Zambia is we have too many f.o.o.ls who think the world spins around Zambia. lets lean from others. If we were so clever why is Zambia so backwards? My answer is every Zambia with brains has left the country. What is left is junk period

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  19. before u start , half of the skyscrapers+urban redevelopment built in cape town where designed by louis karol architects there one of the big boys in south africa and have quality designs , they also work on projects in dubai etc. ,  …its also good to see a zambian engineering company on board Mr Mushinge, bicon …as an architect and urban planning i’m some what disappointed that there is no urban framework to support this project image the traffic from levy junction to this office tower on that small bridge lusaka council must jack up its act soon. As for zambian architects the current system used to tender for jobs makes it impossible for locals to get in the on the act ….for goverment run projects

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  20. The Bird’s nest which was used at the Beijing Olympics was designed by a British Architect. There is nothing wrong with using foreigners as long as they do a good job. I have an uncle plying his trade in South Africa but was trained as an Architect at cbu in Kitwe. If there are any zambians that are that good let them come forward.   

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    • Mwebo ba Shaka #30 Chinese architects have designed so many structures in China the country can afford to do what it did with Bird’s nest. The Great Wall of China was constructed long before a British man had arrived in China. Lets not use weak arguments to shut up people who have genuine progressive intentions. We should be seeing sophisticated projects done by Zambians

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  21. I would also like to add that Zambians should be able to organize themselves so that they can compete favorably with well established companies beyond the borders. Backyard companies will always find it difficult to tender for big projects like these simply because of questionable portfolios.   

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  22. #19 ulichiwelewele ichisushi. Why being fixated on bring down people from other parts of the country? I don’t care for such rural i.diocy.

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  23. Very useless aproach to project management. How do you sign contracts with contracors before the design of the structure is complete? I know they were trying to raise campaign money. This kind of management should never never be allowed to cntinue. Sad for the country to be led by people who are not interested in seing the country grow! Shame

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  24. We have learn’t nothing in thye past 47 years ,kaunda also tyhougth that tall buildings are a symbol of sucess and here we are 30 years later with the same mentality.if our thinking remains the same that means we have lost 3 decades,a man who is fifty cannot possibly have the same opinions that he had when he was twenty.The symbol of success is a well educated,healthy,happy citizenry.We will be poor once again history will repeat itself,we have been there done that before.it is so sad that we did not use our hard times to enlighten ourselves.

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  25. Louis Karol is designing Society House with PJP Architects (who are Zambian), and Louis Karol is partly owned by Kelly Kalumba (a Zambian Architect) who is in charge of the project. Refurbished tall buildings don’t bring prosperity, but they can be a symbol of it – just as burnt-out tall buildings are a symbol of decay.

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