Now at the V&A

Inside ‘Tropical Modernism’

John Hill
19. March 2024
Wesley Girls High School in Cape Coast, Ghana, by Fry, Drew & Partners, 1947 (Photo: Screenshot from “Inside mid-century Tropical Modernist architecture”)

With historical footage, contemporary shots of buildings designed by Jane Drew, Maxwell Fry, and other architects from countries well beyond Ghana, and interviews with architects, the short film sheds light on the colonial development of Tropical Modernism in the 1940s and 50s, shows how Ghanian architects carried the style forward in the newly independent nation in the 1960s, and asks viewers to think about the applicability of Tropical Modernism to a warming planet this century. The film is also an invitation to visit the V&A, where a longer, half-hour film is projected on three screens is part of Tropical Modernism: Architecture and Independence.

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