Avant l’envol offers an exploration of the city of Abidjan through its architecture, both in its shape as in its substance. The movie depicts an almost chronological site inventory of the modern architecture of Ivory Coast’s economic capital. It also points out the monumentality and the architectural quality of these buildings built during the years that followed the independence. Within these foreign architectural designs, time seems to stop running. It is possible to observe designs that show the desire to include the vernacular architecture, but it has failed to adapt to the local climate. The emphasis is put on how the people use these places and bring it to life through choreographies, interactions and other uses. Avant l’envol addresses this rich architectural heritage, as ambitious as dystopian, and examine its meaning and future.