When you think about the African Mud Hut, what comes to mind tends to be cylindrical structures crowned with cone shaped thatched roofs (for the most part). This perception is a traditional one that has been formed over decades if not centuries, and that was the very thing that the duo of Karolina and Wayne Switzer sought to re-invent at Abetenim ArtsVillage in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.

Back in 2012, the Nka Foundation organised the 10×10 Shelter Challenge, a hands-on, site-based design experience focused on learning-by-doing in African architecture. The challenge was to “design and build a learning shelter that measures 10 feet by 10 feet in a location outside of the Western culture, most precisely deep in the village in Ghana, where the convenience of development has not reached.  The shelter is to suggest a relationship between art and architecture by maximum use of local materials“.

The duo had 6 weeks to conduct the site analysis, design and construct their proposal, using corrugated zinc roofing over rammed earth wall. They spend 5 weeks to build the 2.4m x 3.6 m structure that features a fairly large veranda all for the cost of 6,500 cedi, which comes to about N 315 000.

Heres a look at the construction work in pictures (sourced from here).

Earth-Building-2++ Earth-Building-1++ Earth-Building-3++ Earth-Building-6++ image-164663-full Earth-Building-11++ image-164665-full GhanaDesign-BuildByWayne.KarolinaSwitzerExterior-View Exterior-View-2+ Exterior-View-3+ Terrace-View-4+ Terrace-View-3+ Interior-View-1+ Exterior-View-5+

 

To get the extensive story on the project and its development, read this archdaily article.

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