Luyanda Mpahlwa, began his architectural studies in Durban South Africa, at the University of Natal in 1978.
He proceeded to Natal Technikon for an Architectural Diploma, which he completed in Robben Island Prison in 1982 where he was incarcerated for his anti-apartheid political activities.
After his release from a 5 year prison term in 1986, he went into exile in Germany through the assistance of Amnesty International, where he completed his Architectural degree – MSc/Dipl.-Ing – at the Technical University of Berlin (TU-Berlin) in 1997.
Mpahlwa joined MMA Architects as a partner in the same year, whilst at the same time working as a free lance Architect in Berlin for three years.
With the political changes and thus the re-location of the German capital from Bonn to Berlin, Luyanda was introduced to embassy architecture and became a site architect for the project of the Nordic embassies. This experience led to MMA being awarded the contract for the design of the South African Embassy in Berlin, completed in 2003, for which Mpahlwa was the coordinating architect.
In 2000, Mpahlwarelocated to South Africa where he founded the Cape Town studio of MMA Architects, which he developed into a dynamic and creative space for architecture and interior design.
Mpahlwa built his profile in the architectural community and built environment in South Africa. His architectural work expresses a contemporary design aesthetic, influenced by strong references to African culture and tradition.
Mpahlwa served on the 2010 Soccer World Cup Organising Committee Technical Team in an advisory capacity and provided oversight project management for the construction of all World Cup stadia in South Africa.