|Location:||Abetenim Arts Village, Kumasi, Ghana|
| From the architect |
A US-based organization Nka Foundation announced this competition to design a ‘Community Secondary School’ at Abetenim, Ashanti Region, Kumasi, Ghana. The challenge is to design a sustainable, cost-efficient and environment-friendly architecture with earth and local materials. The school will be consist of classrooms, administrative offices, library, laboratories, and dorms for boarding students, cafeteria hall, teacher’s quarter and sports ground for a population of 600 students(12 to 18 years old). Our participation was for the ‘Classroom Block’.
Abetenim, the flat land of palm trees, luscious greenery and driving rain compliments the tropical warm humid climate of Ghana. The essence of traditional mud houses of Ghana, climatic considerations, earth and local material’s characteristics and child psychology was the key factors for the design of the master plan and the classroom units.
A celebration of culture & heritage is the essence of the rural vernacular architecture of Ghana that is responsive of socio-cultural, climatic & geological aspects. Our main concern is to design a place for child education with special attention to the psychology & activity pattern of the age group (12-18 years) for space arrangements and cultural heritage. This age group likes to interact in groups, as well as they need self-exploration. This was the basis for our space design such as classrooms, open classrooms (group interaction) and self-exploration space. This was also kept in mind while designing the master plan.
The classroom clusters are set within the site in a way that it creates a connection between courtyards of each cluster to serve as the assembly and group play area. The pocket spaces created within the clusters become the small group gathering and activity corner. Each cluster has indoor classrooms, outdoor learning areas and space for self-exploration at the upper levels. The solid walls are kept for personalization by the users, featured by graffiti and ethnic patterns of traditional painted huts of Ghana.
Concrete trench foundation has been introduced here, which is filled with earth up to the plinth level. The plinth level is plastered with neat cement finish. Rammed earth load bearing walls are 18 inches thick with the standard size brick column filled with RCC at the four corners of the room for strengthening. The locally available corrugated sheet has been used for roofing along with bamboo structure. Well-seasoned bamboo with reinforcement is used as a main structural system for roofing. Concrete lintel above the openings is designed for strength and lateral load. All the openings and shutters are designed with locally available wood.
DESIGN TEAM: ARCHISAN
Contribution: Research work, Design and Details, Structural Design, Selection of Materials, 3D, and Management
Contribution: Design Discussion, Write Up, Post Production, Presentation, and Collaboration.
3D Visualization: studio MORPH, H M Romanur Rahman + Team
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