3rd Earth Architecture Competition

Submission: October 30, 2015
Registration: October 20, 2015
Language: English
Location: Ghana
Prizes: 1st Prize: 1,500$, 2nd Prize: 1,000$, 3rd Prize: 500$
Type: Open


Nka Foundation is issuing a challenge to designers, architects and builders to use their creativity to come up with innovative designs for modest, affordable houses that can be built locally to replace the rural mud house type. The challenge is to design a house type of about 2400 sq feet that sleeps 8 to 10 persons to be built on a plot size of 80 x 100 feet. Total costs of constructing the design entry must not exceed $7,000 (USD) for materials and labor; land value is excluded from this price point. You should design the unit for construction by maximum use of earth and local labor in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.

The built environment is to provide a place of stay for 8 to 10 international participants who come to immerse in the local culture to create works or collaborate on a community project. The multi-user dwelling is to be used by persons in any area of the creative arts. That is, the unit should be designed for either musicians, theatre artists, potters, sculptors, painters, textile artists, designers, writers, or media arts practitioners. Because the construction of best design entires is a priority, projects that have regards for self-construction and scalable design are sort. Each design team gets an opportunity to build their design entry at the arts village in Ghana or another site of their choice. Be a part of this! Let’s create change where it is most needed.  

What is the preferred construction method for the winning entries? The method to be used to build your design can be cob construction, rammed earth, mud brick, cast earth (poured earth) by formwork, or any other earth construction techniques that can be easily learned by local labor. Roofing design should be corrugated zinc sheets, which is the conventional roofing materials in the region. This is because zinc roofing stands the heavy rainfall better. Others roofing methods such as vault roof, fired mud roof and canvas roof are all possibilities but not yet tested to stand the region’s heavy rain fall. 

Jurors will award prizes for first, second and third place consisting of a commemorative certificate and cash prizes to the winning designs as follows: 1st prize- $1,500 or construction of design in Ghana plus a trip to Ghana for a workshop to build the winning design (in case the winner does not reside in Ghana and to a maximum of 1 person); 2nd prize- Construction or $1,000 and 3rd prize- Construction or $500. Honorable mentions may be awarded at the discretion of the jury but will receive no cash prize. 


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