This article engages the German architect Ernst May and the complex legacies of his work in colonial Kenya from 1933 to 1953. Tiven examines three structures and parses their political, aesthetic, and biographical dimensions: one proposed, but never built (the Native House for Concrete Pre-manufacture); one still inhabited today (the Delamere Flats); and one demolished ca. 2005 (the Oceanic Hotel). The article explores May’s impulse for gardening as a kind of anti-architecture and crosses his narrative with those of two other architect-horticulturalists: Erica Mann, a Jewish Romanian refugee and May’s architectural colleague in Nairobi; and Albert Speer, Hitler’s architect and armaments minister.
Research Article| May 01 2013
The Delight of the Yearner: Ernst May and Erica Mann in Nairobi, 1933–1953
Benjamin Tiven is an artist and writer in New York. In 2012, he completed the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program in studio art and has recently contributed to Triple Canopy, Bidoun, and Bulletins of the Serving Library.
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Nka (2013) 2013 (32): 80–89.
Benjamin Tiven; The Delight of the Yearner: Ernst May and Erica Mann in Nairobi, 1933–1953. Nka 1 May 2013; 2013 (32): 80–89. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10757163-2142278
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