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.

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

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.

The Mountain

The Mountain, a film written by Fathy Ghanem, tells the story of building the village of New Gourna by architect Hassan Fathy. Filmed in the village of New Gourna itself in 1965, it is incredibly important from an architectural perspective, however, Hassan Fathy never mentioned the film in any of his writings or speeches. More information at www.hassanfathy.webs.com

Solar Sinter Project

In a world increasingly concerned with questions of energy production and raw material shortages, this project by Markus Kayser explores the potential of desert manufacturing, where energy and material occur in abundance.

In this experiment sunlight and sand are used as raw energy and material to produce glass objects using a 3D printing process, that combines natural energy and material with high-tech production technology. Solar-sintering aims to raise questions about the future of manufacturing and triggers dreams of the full utilisation of the production potential of the world’s most efficient energy resource – the sun. Whilst not providing definitive answers, this experiment aims to provide a point of departure for fresh thinking.

Ahmed Baba Institute Library

The new Ahmed Baba Institute of Higher Islamic Studies and Research, completed in 2009, introduces state-of-the-art techniques for conserving, exhibiting, and studying these famous Timbuktu manuscripts. dhk Architects of Cape Town designed phase one of the $8.36 million, 50,000-square-foot Institute, creating an archive of 20,000 manuscripts and a public library with reference materials on the culture of the region.

Andre Spies, the project architect for dhk, designed the institute and now heads his own practice in Cape Town called twothink architecture, which completed phase two — fitting out the interiors. To respect the vernacular architecture of the region, Spies chose to build primarily with mud, which requires maintenance after the annual rains. He found a local mason who mixed mud with concrete to make the facade rain-repellent, and he purchased mud bricks from craftsmen on the streets.

The introduction of a new building is challenging in the low-tech, mud-built setting of Timbuktu. Albakaye Ousmane Kounta, the Malian writer, poet, and storyteller, criticizes the building as “too modern.” Whereas fortresslike walls concealed the internal configuration of the former institute, the new one blurs inside and out with outdoor hallways arrayed along a “free plan.” This modern approach is uncommon in West Africa, where public and private spaces are strictly demarcated to keep out sand, roving donkeys, and itinerant people. The new design encourages access and openness, but it has drawbacks as well. In addition, some spaces — such as the auditorium — have rigid functions not easily adapted to other uses.

Read more at Architectural Record