Shall we improve houses in Ghana? Help us promote sustainable, affordable and modern architecture!
Kente House project is an innovative 1:1 laterite rammed earth, affordable house prototype in Ghana which will inspire an awareness of the opportunities to build sustainably in rural Africa.
The 120m2, one-storey prototype is designed to increase the chances of low-income families to become homeowners while encouraging the use of local, existing resources rather than importing high-embodied-energy expensive materials.
The dwelling itself is a crucial catalyst for promoting the re-establishment of rammed earth as a construction material and construction trade in West Africa. Currently, 98% of the houses in the Abetenim region in Ashanti are made of earth but remain in disrepair due to poor construction and erosion.
The Ashanti tradition is promoted by incorporating Kente cloth shading devices, which combined with ventilated roofs and EW orientation enable to harness local winds and reduce overheating to maximise the occupier’s thermal comfort.
How did Kente House start?
Kente House was a project conceived in response to the 2014 Mud House Design Competition organised by the NKA Foundation, a nonprofit social arts organisation based in the US. The success of the scheme has lead to a subsequent opportunity to construct the propotype dwelling in the Abetenim Arts Village, a 6 acre site located 40km Southeast of Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana during July 2015. The premise of the project is to rethink earhern construction in the context of a quickly urbanising West Africa. In the region many stereotypes continue to persist regarding this method of construction, in part due to the loss of skills in tradesmanship during the past few decades. Kente House Building Workshop’s main objective is to re-establish and promote the use of rammed earth in contemporary Ghanaian construction. We aim to demonstrate rammed earth can not only provide quality, it can also produce an affordable and aesthetic architecture that makes use of available local materials and vernacular, traditional construction techniques which are fast being lost. More info here.
Why support Us
Your contribution will enable showcasing a prototype house that complies with the United Nations’ rights to adequate housing, which include affordability, habitability and cultural adequacy while increasing the chances for low-income families to become homeowners.
You will change the way West Africans live, since Kente House intends to improve housing standards by providing aesthetics, affordability, thermal comfort, modern architecture, functionality and wellbeing.
Contributions provided will promote employment, enhance local labor skills, encourage productive and fruitful work and contribute to local growth and development. Promoting the construction of a low energy consumption, bioclimatic design will demonstrate an awareness of social responsibility as you will be encouraging the construction of thermally comfortable houses within the African continent.