Marc Thorpe, New York-based architect and multidisciplinary studio, has designed the Dakar Houses for the workers of Moroso M’Afrique furniture collection. Located on the outskirts of the Senegalese capital in West Africa, the prototype houses are made from earth bricks.
Created to cater to the daily life of the Moroso workforce as well as the manufacturing process of the M’Afrique’s furniture collection, the project puts in place a “work-based community allowing a village to develop around a central economic constituent”. The Dakar Houses generate units based on the required space for each individual family, with each unit holding two apartments and one centralized workshop that can accommodate handcraft work such as welding and weaving.
Inspired by traditional African patterns, the Dakar Houses have angular and pointed roofs. Produced from earth brick, locally-sourced common building material in Senegal, the community of Dakar Houses aims to support the small industry. With isothermal properties, brick-based constructions retain the cool nighttime temperatures, keeping interior temperatures comfortable throughout the day. The long process consists of soaking the bricks in water each morning and then baking them in the sun throughout the day, under a tarp.
The M’Afrique furniture collection by Moroso, has been highlighting the craftsmanship of the Sengalese makers, for more than 10 years. Commissioned by designer and artist Abdou Salam Gaye, responsible for the M'Afrique collection, the project is currently under review.