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La Pyramide

Avenue Franchet d'Esperey, Cote d'Ivoire
1 of 1Iwan Baan/Park Books

The great concrete La Pyramide, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, was a brave attempt to reinvent the city’s covered market. However, it failed due to its high maintenance costs and inefficient design, and has been empty since the 1980s.

Designed by Italian architect Rinaldo Olivier, La Pyramide was celebrated as one of the Ivory Coast's most impressive structures at the time of its completion.

"It was meant to recreate the liveliness of the traditional Ivorian marketplace, consciously (designed) in contrast to the sterile modern architecture that preceded it at the time" says Herz. Sadly, he notes, those aspirations never came to pass. "Economically, it was never viable, and is now gutted" he says.

Avenue Franchet d'Esperey