This post was submitted by Japanese architect Kikuma Watanabe, who’s engaged in one of the Main Jury’s at the Ecovillage project in Ghana. The text below is from the Nka Foundation website.
“Nka Foundation is pleased to announce the results for the Ghana: 2011 Open ARchiTecture Challenge. Entries were received from over 30 countries. The challenge was to design and build units of a model arts village in the Ashanti Region of Ghana for replication in other parts of the sub-Sahara. The design entry was to include a Multipurpose Arts Center, Residential Courtyard that sleeps 21 persons, Community Kitchen, Courtyard for arts studios and a Recreational Sports Ground on a 10-acre lot with earth under the feet and within a budget of $42,000-$62,000. We are inclined to building for the arts with earth because in West Africa, from the cities to the low-income villages, earth architecture is fast giving way to modern dwellings made of cement-blocks and corrugated zinc-roof that are expensive and thermally and acoustically problematic.
Thus, we were interested in design solutions that integrate art into architecture for a more sustainable future. We emphasized that the design should provide a comfortable, and multi-use of space and should be easily built from local materials and local labor at low cost for use by the international arts community. The international competition is of the Open Source Share, which implies that we aim at making the design process and design documents open to all who may use, improve and adapt them to generate a more practical and contemporary design trend for the region.”
Note: If you love architecture like I do, then do not click on this link if you have work to do. You’ll be lost for hours looking at amazing designs.