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Student contest launched for mud huts in Ghana

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Students and recent graduates of architecture and design are invited to take part in an international contest to design a mud house in Ghana

Backed by humanitarian arts charity NKA Foundation, the competition seeks ideas for a £3,500 dwelling constructed using local labour and red earth known as laterite.

The single-family residence – planned for Ghana’s Ashanti Region – should be roughly 9 by 12 metres and occupy a plot roughly 18 by 18 metres.

The competition aims to promote traditional building methods among local people. Many Ghanaians  prefer modern-built structures although they are more expensive and poorly insulated.

According to the brief: ‘Earth architecture is fast giving way to modern dwellings made of cement blocks and other modern materials that are not simply expensive but thermally and acoustically problematic.’

It continued: ‘The local perception is that mud buildings are only for the very poor. We reason that a design intervention can help generate alternatives to resolve the problem.’

The registration fee is around £35 per individual entry or £50 per team entry. Two of the winning designs – set to be announced in October – will be built between November 2014 and July 2015.

The deadline for registration is 15 August.

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