Nka Foundation Announces the winners of the Mud House Design 2014 competition for Ghana.

The 1st prize winning design is Sankofa House by the design team: M.A.M.O.T.H from France

The 2nd prize winner is Eban Aya by Atelier Koe in Senegal

The 3rd prize is awarded to Ejisu Earth House by Jason Orbe-Smith in USA.

The competition was open to recent graduates and students of architecture, design and others from around the world. The challenge was to design a single-family unit on a plot of 60 x 60 feet to be built by maximum use of earth and local labor in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. The client of the design entry is the middle-income family at any township in the region. Total costs of constructing the design entry was capped at $6,000; land value was excluded from this price point. The competition was designed to: (1) to generate mud house design alternatives to be available free to everyone to appreciate, use, or improve them to generate more practical and contemporary design solutions for the region; and (2) to make possible the construction of the best design entries through building workshops to realize prototypes, as examples to the local people that mud architecture can be durable and beautiful.

The jury involved a preselection jury and grand jury by use of judging criteria involving functionality, aesthetics and technical matters. Twenty top finalists were chosen by the Preselection Jury of architects, professors and administrators with relevant expertise, which were forwarded to the Grand Jury of architecture professors and others who are established in earth architecture. From the Top 20 Design Entries, three prize-winning designs were selected. Prizes for first, second and third place consist of a commemorative plaque and a choice of cash reward or construction of winning design in Ghana. Every design team of the Top 20 Design Entries receives a certificate of recognition.

What is next?

BUILDING WORKSHOPS: THE PROTOTYPING CHALLENGE
Nka Foundation is issuing a challenge to builders, architecture professors and architects worldwide who know how architecture is localized, uses the means and the materials available in the site to create a friendly building to the environment. Join us as a workshop director or a participant to realize the winning designs from our 2014 Mud House Design competition in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Each prototyping workshop will run for about 10 weeks. Participants can join at any time and participate for a minimum of 1 month. Students can use the workshop opportunity to fulfil the academic requirements for their stage/internship, thesis, or volunteer just for learning-by-doing on a vernacular architecture project. Here are all submitted design entries: http://nkaprojects.boards.net/thread/30/submitted-entries-1st-list Please, take a look!

For more information contact info@nkafoundation.org / www.nkafoundation.org.

The Farmer, the Architect and the Scientist

The Farmer, the Architect and the Scientist from The Gaia Foundation & ABN on Vimeo.

A new film, ‘The Farmer, the Architect and the Scientist’ tells the story of a seed hero. Dr Debal Deb is a pioneering ecologist committed to working with traditional farmers in eastern India to conserve indigenous seed diversity. Over almost two decades, Debal has managed to save 920 varieties of rice, all of which he stores in community based seed banks in West Bengal and Odisha for farmers. This film follows the construction of a new seed bank premises in Odisha, a venture that provides a potent symbol of Debal’s values.

Mud House Design 2014 Competition

Nka Foundation invites entries for Mud House Design 2014, an international architecture competition open to recent graduates and students of architecture, design and others from around the world who think earth architecture can be beautiful. The challenge is to design a single-family unit of about 30 x 40 feet on a plot of 60 x 60 feet to be built by maximum use of earth and local labor in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.

This is the design problem: In Ghana, as in other countries in West Africa, stereotypes about buildings made of earth persist because of poor construction. From the cities to the low-income villages, use of concrete – despite its dependence on imported resources – is considered indispensable for building. Yet an excellent, cheap and local alternative called laterite, red earth, is available everywhere in Ghana. The long-term goal is to enable the Ghanaian population and lots of other places, to overcome the stigma that mud architecture is architecture for the very poor.

Registration and submission of entries runs from March 15, 2014 until August 31, 2014. For additional information, see the competition Website: http://www.nkafoundation.org/competitions.html and the registration page: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mud-house-design-competition-tickets-10697036123

Experiencia MUVA

Using concrete and mud bricks, architects Solanito Benítez, Gloria Cabral, María Rovea y Ricardo Sargiotti have constructed a unique wall by hastening the erosion of the mud by washing it away once the concrete mortar had cured, leaving voids in the places where mud bricks were set.

More information on the project at platforma Arquitectura.

Primary School Tanouan Ibi

Dutch firm Levs Architecten used compressed earth blocks from local clay mines to build the barrel-vaulted structure of this primary school in the village of Tanouan Ibi.

The architects enlisted students from a nearby university and members of the local community to help construct the building, using the compressed clay bricks to build walls, floors and roofing.

More information at Dezeen.

Iggy Azalea

Australian rap star Iggy Azalea grew up in a house that her father built by hand from mud bricks, surrounded by 5 hectares of land. She reminisces about it in her song Work:

You can hate it or love it
Hustle and the struggle is the only thing I’m trusting
Thorough bread in a mud brick before the budget
White chick on that Pac shit
My passion was ironic
And my dreams were uncommon

ShamsArd: With Dirt And A Vision

ShamsArd is a young Palestinian architecture firm that has designed several buildings constructed of dirt that respond to both the environmental climate (keeping the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter), and the political and economic climate. An Israeli company that exports the vast majority of cement used in the occupied Palestinian territories, suddenly stopped the supply for almost a month because of cement shortages in the Israeli market. A few months later, the price of cement sold to the Palestinians also increased, making alternative construction techniques, a beautiful design solution. It also responds to history as Jericho, the location of their most recent design, is home to the oldest earth building traditions in the world. Hear and read more about ShamsArd on National Public Radio and in an Al Jazeera article.

Swoon

This Earth-inspired project by Tres Birds Workshop is a 7,000 sf private artist’s residency that uses 100% renewable resources, demonstrating fossil-free potential of the built environment. Four vertical geothermal wells were installed to transfer the Earth’s energy to the building’s heating and cooling system. A solar electric roof on the carport generates energy for interior LED lighting and electricity. To test the energy efficiency of the structure, a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) was performed, ranking it in the 74th percentile and exceeding code requirements by three times.

The structure was built using 200 tons of rammed Earth, a composite of regional dirt and pigments, compressed into 30” thick walls. This adds significant thermal mass to the building’s whole, optimal for temperature regulation. Bearing the structural load, these dense walls allow the space to exist free from obstructions, ideal for a simplified interior and exhibiting artwork.

More information at tresbirds.com/SWOON