Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Modern Green Architecture in Accra



In article by Shelley D. Hutchins featured in Architect Magazine "...California-based Stephen H. Kanner, FAIA, has expanded his practice to another West coast—the one in Africa. Accra, the capital of Ghana, has captured both his attention and his creative passion. “Ghana is on the coast and faces the same direction—southwest—as Los Angeles,” he says, so its conditions are not entirely alien to him. But Kanner's chief lure was best friend and longtime collaborator Joe Addo, who moved back to his birthplace four years ago.

On his first visit there, Kanner was so impressed by Addo's efforts to revitalize his hometown, he offered the full support of his firm and his own financial investment. “Joe is really involved in political issues that will better the quality of life through roads, water systems, and schools,” Kanner explains. Together they've formed a development group called Concept Ghana, with a focus on improving low-income housing, aiding in neighborhood and city planning, and designing upscale housing to help lure wealthy Ghanaians back home.

The Augustino Neto Condominiums, slated for completion in 2008, are among the for-profit projects. The 1,500-square-foot units will sell for about U.S. $300,000. All 25 condos have two bedrooms, two and a half baths, and two balconies opposite each other for unimpeded cross-ventilation. The ¾-acre site is on the airport road, which also houses the city's embassy row. “The town grew around the airport, and the wealthiest district happens to be right below the flight path,” Kanner says. But the building's debut of Concept Ghana's soon-to-be-patented material, PozzoGhana, will help insulate against jet-engine noise. The green building product, which combines local sedimentous soils, waste palm kernels, and Portland cement, will form the exposed structure of the condo building.

The condos will showcase other sustainable materials easy to come by in Ghana: bamboo for the poolside cabana and balcony railing; adobe plasters for the walls; and recycled oil drums as large-format shingle siding. Responsibly harvested native woods in wide planks will lend clean, contemporary lines to wall panels. “The building's frame is our concrete product,” Kanner says, “then we mixed in ancient local building materials in a modern way.”..."

Photos courtesy of Architect Magazine

5 comments:

The Architect said...

nice blog sir
ill be watching for more of your concepts

http://archisyphone.blogspot.com/

John said...

Interesting idea of putting together a development/design organization.

cyrilguchi said...

Quite a lot of attention has been focused on Traditional building materials as a way of Creating a climate responsive design in Africa,which I Agree to. Our aim, you inclusive is to see that on the local level, which seems to be primary to me, the rural lots are catered for, interms of housing..what i'm trying to propose is A trado-conventional system for Africa whilst preserving our cultural significance and esteem, at the same time withstanding the harsh climates of Africa.No one seems to be querying the sustainability of these materials.We claim because of the large expanse of land, grand structures, storey structures aren't part of our culture and are termed by many African green proponents as "Undesirable"..but I think if this materials had been used for some grand stuctures, we would have been celebrating African Architecture beyound this level.

Yes. Large expanse of land..you and I know the rate of population increase in Africa..No policies to curtail child birth, which I wouldn't be paty to, if we decide, I'm being pragmatic, to house the entire population, considering the future demography of say the Ashantis, yorubas, Igbos, tell me? wouldn't we be depleting the already eroding natural resources..

c'mon let's be candid, here if African green Proponents, which I'm trying to do, introduce an 80% -20%..ratio of traditional materials and products and very few, but vital amount of conventional system respectively, and infuse more of our traditional expertise and system, at least the traditional materials and products will augument for the lapses of the few conventional system, and vice-versa...that will be ideal for a sustainable clmate responsive design..


Climatic factor..Have you ever experienced severe natural disaster..NO..the rate at which the climate is changing, I don't pray for that, what if we are hit with.. either A 7.5 earethquake,magnitude on the richter scale or severe flood..you wouldn't want to be in those traditional houses built with traditional materials and products...would ya? I can go on and on..

N/b.this research is not intended to puncture Taditional System but to improve on it..I love our traditional styles..but lets make it durable, sustainable, resilient..for the time being, and let's not wallow in that ideology of level floor houses..even at that these materials should be able to expand beyound a certain limit.. so that you and I can say..bravo to our african villages...cos we can live proudly in them..

if you've got materials I hopefully wouldn't mind..and your reservations as to my proposal please be my guest to contend this fact.

Godbless.

Ogunkah Ibuchim
University of Westminster
SABE(Sch.of Arch.and Built Env.)
35Marlylebone road,NW15LS

cyrilguchi@ymail.com

cyrilguchi said...

Quite a lot of attention has been focused on Traditional building materials as a way of Creating a climate responsive design in Africa,which I Agree to. Our aim, you inclusive is to see that on the local level, which seems to be primary to me, the rural lots are catered for, interms of housing..what i'm trying to propose is A trado-conventional system for Africa whilst preserving our cultural significance and esteem, at the same time withstanding the harsh climates of Africa.No one seems to be querying the sustainability of these materials.We claim because of the large expanse of land, grand structures, storey structures aren't part of our culture and are termed by many African green proponents as "Undesirable"..but I think if this materials had been used for some grand stuctures, we would have been celebrating African Architecture beyound this level.

Yes. Large expanse of land..you and I know the rate of population increase in Africa..No policies to curtail child birth, which I wouldn't be paty to, if we decide, I'm being pragmatic, to house the entire population, considering the future demography of say the Ashantis, yorubas, Igbos, tell me? wouldn't we be depleting the already eroding natural resources..

c'mon let's be candid, here if African green Proponents, which I'm trying to do, introduce an 80% -20%..ratio of traditional materials and products and very few, but vital amount of conventional system respectively, and infuse more of our traditional expertise and system, at least the traditional materials and products will augument for the lapses of the few conventional system, and vice-versa...that will be ideal for a sustainable clmate responsive design..


Climatic factor..Have you ever experienced severe natural disaster..NO..the rate at which the climate is changing, I don't pray for that, what if we are hit with.. either A 7.5 earethquake,magnitude on the richter scale or severe flood..you wouldn't want to be in those traditional houses built with traditional materials and products...would ya? I can go on and on..

N/b.this research is not intended to puncture Taditional System but to improve on it..I love our traditional styles..but lets make it durable, sustainable, resilient..for the time being, and let's not wallow in that ideology of level floor houses..even at that these materials should be able to expand beyound a certain limit.. so that you and I can say..bravo to our african villages...cos we can live proudly in them..

if you've got materials I hopefully wouldn't mind..and your reservations as to my proposal please be my guest to contend this fact.

Godbless.

Ogunkah Ibuchim
University of Westminster
SABE(Sch.of Arch.and Built Env.)
35Marlylebone road,NW15LS

cyrilguchi@ymail.com

cyrilguchi said...

Quite a lot of attention has been focused on Traditional building materials as a way of Creating a climate responsive design in Africa,which I Agree to. Our aim, you inclusive is to see that on the local level, which seems to be primary to me, the rural lots are catered for, interms of housing..what i'm trying to propose is A trado-conventional system for Africa whilst preserving our cultural significance and esteem, at the same time withstanding the harsh climates of Africa.No one seems to be querying the sustainability of these materials.We claim because of the large expanse of land, grand structures, storey structures aren't part of our culture and are termed by many African green proponents as "Undesirable"..but I think if this materials had been used for some grand stuctures, we would have been celebrating African Architecture beyound this level.

Yes. Large expanse of land..you and I know the rate of population increase in Africa..No policies to curtail child birth, which I wouldn't be paty to, if we decide, I'm being pragmatic, to house the entire population, considering the future demography of say the Ashantis, yorubas, Igbos, tell me? wouldn't we be depleting the already eroding natural resources..

c'mon let's be candid, here if African green Proponents, which I'm trying to do, introduce an 80% -20%..ratio of traditional materials and products and very few, but vital amount of conventional system respectively, and infuse more of our traditional expertise and system, at least the traditional materials and products will augument for the lapses of the few conventional system, and vice-versa...that will be ideal for a sustainable clmate responsive design..


Climatic factor..Have you ever experienced severe natural disaster..NO..the rate at which the climate is changing, I don't pray for that, what if we are hit with.. either A 7.5 earethquake,magnitude on the richter scale or severe flood..you wouldn't want to be in those traditional houses built with traditional materials and products...would ya? I can go on and on..

N/b.this research is not intended to puncture Taditional System but to improve on it..I love our traditional styles..but lets make it durable, sustainable, resilient..for the time being, and let's not wallow in that ideology of level floor houses..even at that these materials should be able to expand beyound a certain limit.. so that you and I can say..bravo to our african villages...cos we can live proudly in them..

if you've got materials I hopefully wouldn't mind..and your reservations as to my proposal please be my guest to contend this fact.

Godbless.

Ogunkah Ibuchim
University of Westminster
SABE(Sch.of Arch.and Built Env.)
35Marlylebone road,NW15LS

cyrilguchi@ymail.com