Italian architect Andrea Morri shared with us his proposal in collaboration with Ing. Massimo Maioli for the OS House Competition. The project is an innovative and sustainable concept for housing in Ghana. More images and architect’s description after the break.
For a person, the house is a shelter, a place where they look for and create their microcosm made of objects, affections and memories. Home also symbolizes the culture a person belongs to.
This project develops as part of a rapidly increasing economy in one of the most thriving African areas.
The house prototype we propose aims at creating a suitable living solution in urban areas, but also in rural or isolated areas and emergency contexts.
Our prototype has been carried out so that it can meet the requirements of a house enlargement in connection with a growing family; this ensures the highest flexibility according to the changes the African society is undergoing, more and more often approaching “Western” life styles but, at the same time, remaining rooted deeply in its traditions.
This led us to carry out a prototype which mingles the use of advanced technologies and the use of local materials whose ways of use have been partially renewed.
As a precise project choice, we decided to use passive technologies rather than active energy systems; this choice permits to minimize the use of pipes and installations and makes it easier to build and dismantle the house, without increasing building costs.
Indeed, we decided to reduce building costs by rationalizing the living spaces and consequently reducing the size of encumbrances; that has been obtained, for example, by using the upper part of the rooms and the gap in the loose stone foundation as a well to replace bulky wardrobes.
The use of “poor” but decorous local materials permits to find materials easily on the spot, to set up and dismantle the dry-stone walls easily and to make the house movable. For this reason the only fixed part of our prototype is the skeleton, conceived as an iron profiled frame fastened to the ground through a hand-built foundation.
The basis is made of a loose stone foundation built by reusing EUR pallets and OSB panels; a bamboo parquet flooring produced locally completes the basis.
For the walls we used a “sandbag” system; the outside part is made of OSB panels, whereas on the inside insulation is achieved through a framework of sandbags filled with soil and fastened with barbed wire; the outside part of the walls are painted with clay plaster and chalk powder.
Covering is conceived as to minimize the sun beating down through an internal ventilated gap and to make rain water collection easier during the copious summer rains. As for the rooms, our prototype is made of two bed rooms, a central living area directly linked to the entrance, a wall equipped as a kitchen and a bathroom with toilet and washing facilities equipped with shower.
Besides containing the water treatment pipes, the well between the kitchen and the bathroom also houses two PVC pipes for rain water, which is directly driven to the bathroom discharge or conveyed into storage tubs dug under the loose stone foundation. That way, rain water could be reused for household activities after being conveniently treated with SODIS technology.