a project by angeles hevia
Kente House is a prototype dwelling conceived in response to the 2014 Mud House Design Competition organised by the NKA Foundation. The success of the scheme lead to the opportunity to construct the prototype dwelling in the Abetenim Arts Village, a 6 acre site in the Ashanti Region of Ghana during summer 2015. Freiraum Kollektive were funding consultants for this project.
The premise of scheme was to rethink earthen construction in the context of a quickly urbanising East Africa. In the region many stereotypes persist regarding traditional methods of construction, in part due to the loss of skills in tradesmanship during the past few decades. The project aims to demonstrate rammed earth can not only provide quality, it can also produce an affordable and aesthetic architecture which makes use of available local materials and vernacular, traditional construction techniques which are quickly being forgotten.
Kente cloth known as 'nwentom' in Akan, is a type of silk and cotton fabric made of interwoven cloth strips and is native to the Akan ethnic group of South Ghana. Kente cloth has its origin with the Ashanti Kingdom, and was adopted by people in Ivory Coast and many other West African countries. Kente house builds on this rich cultural legacy to promote a sense of pride in local making tradition.
The main objective of the building workshop was to re-establish and promote the use of rammed earth in contemporary Ghanaian construction. A further intention for the workshop was to provide a solution for low-income families to become homeowners of affordable dwellings and reduce their reliance on imported, expensive materials. In addition, it challenges the myth that buildings constructed in earth lack architectural quality and are only for those of little means.
Read more on the Freiraum Kollektive website
render of kente house, ghana
project dates: 01.2015 - 09.2015