- Sustainable Architecture
- Nkabom House, building with mud in Ghana
Three young English architects - Anna Webster, Eliana Stenning and Phoebe Stock - designed and built “Nkabom House” in Abetenim arts village in Ghana, basing their work on local materials and infrastructure and collaborating with international volunteers.
The project is much more than just a standard workshop of mud houses, because it also deals with a range of environmental issues connected to the specific situation of Ghana, to come up with an innovative response, while using traditional materials and techniques.
So, in addition to the mud, they also repurposed pure water sachets as building materials - these sachets create many problems because there is no rubbish collection service and as we know plastic is highly polluting and dirty. But while the discarded plastic water sachets are a major issue, the fact that they are waterproof is actually a great advantage because they can be used for roofing instead of corrugated metal sheets.
A tangible example of recycling, something that not common practice in Ghana so there was a desire to get across the idea that something of beauty and value can be created from waste.
Not only that but the workshop director, Anna Webster seeks a design approach that is removed from the primordial image of a mud house to turn it into a contemporary aesthetic: Nkabom House in the Abetenim arts village is a project that combines traditional, sustainable building with an intercultural exchange between architects, visitors and the local workforce, for a truly innovative visual impact.
Workshop and competition: Nka Foundation 2014 Mud House Design Competition, Reinventing the African Mud Hut Together
Project: Anna Webster, London Metropolitan University
Location: Abetenim, Ghana
Photography: courtesy of Nka Foundation, http://www.transartists.org/air/nka-foundation