The house design is very elementary, it can be described as the composition of three independent volumes (activity room, bedrooms, and washroom) gathered under the same roof. This idea of composition affecting the use and shape of both the interior and the exterior space comes from the direct observation of the life in rural villages in Ghana: functions are scattered in the village, and people usually share spaces to cook, or to eat and stay together. An idea of living spaces very different from the western one…
The entire building is laid on a concrete platform, a space defined by the projection of the roof above, where a portico with teak columns for open air sojourning is also defined. Using the atakpame method, the house walls are entirely made of earth: the main innovation consisting on the fact that not only the walls lay on top of a concrete foundation, to visually and physically lift the building from the ground… but the corners are made with concrete blocks, in order to have the walls well straight.
The roof is made of wooden beams and metal sheets, it lays on a top concrete lentil and thanks to its double inclination lets natural light get into the activity room; perimetral walls are plastered and protected from rain water thanks to roof projection all around the building (1,5 meters). Interior furniture is in atakpame earth, including the beds, while windows are in wood; the bedrooms’ are traditional wooden windows, while the activity room and wash room have tailored made wooden windows (see image below).
The walls are now finished and the roof is expected for next week. More info about the project can be found in the post category: “More about the Abetenim Workshop”