Project/Client:                                           Haduwa Arts and Culture Institute

Location:                                                     Apam, Central Region, Ghana

Concept and Architecture:                    [applied] Foreign Affairs, Institute of Architecture, University of Applied Arts Vienna

Project team (design and realization):   Christian Car, Joseph Hofmarcher, Ilias Klis, Joana Lazarova, Ewa Lenart, Ioana Petkova, Philipp Reinsberg, with Antonella Amesberger, Andrea Sachse and Jürgen Strohmayer

Project head:                                           Baerbel Mueller

Consulting bamboo construction:       Jörg Stamm

Structural engineering:                          Klaus Bollinger, Bollinger + Grohmann Ingenieure

Consulting construction:                       Franz Sam

Collaborations:                                         School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Lab DC / Head: Petra Kron; Institute of Art Sciences and Art Education, University of Applied Arts Vienna

Roof membrane and textiles:                Manora Auersperg, Christoph Kaltenbrunner;

Performative research:                            Daniel Aschwanden, Kojo Benedict Quaye aka Sir Black, Frida Robles

tex_[a]FA interweaving 2015:                Barbara Putz-Plecko, Manora Auersperg. Team: Clelia Baumgartner, , Tanja Happel, Afra Kirchdorfer, Sarah Steiner, Julia Galimova

project narrative by the team …

© Julien Lanoo

Located on the Atlantic coast of Ghana´s Central Region, the Haduwa Arts & Culture Institute is an open institution for independent artistic, cultural, and pedagogic experimentation. [applied] Foreign Affairs had been invited to conceptualize and design a stage for the future initiatives of Haduwa. The resulting design is a roofscape and floorscape located on the ocean borderline of the terrain. The large-scale bamboo structure is a significant landmark in its context. A giant dome with three arches facing in different directions, it presents a typologically new form of open space. One of its spatial qualities is that it combines protection from and inclusion of external elements such as sun, wind, and rainfall.

© [applied] Foreign Affairs
© [applied] Foreign Affairs

The primary structure is a grid shell consisting solely of bamboo – one of the most versatile and strongest materials on planet Earth. Its geometry has been informed by the material quality of bamboo and its structural, technical, and spatial potentials. Constructing with bamboo is also meant to foster the reputation of sustainable architecture in Ghana. In this regard, the aim of the project is “to put Ghana on the world map of bamboo” (Jörg Stamm). The project was built by the authors themselves, together with local experts and workers.

© [applied] Foreign Affairs

Process Drawings

© [applied] Foreign Affairs
© [applied] Foreign Affairs
© [applied] Foreign Affairs
© [applied] Foreign Affairs
© [applied] Foreign Affairs
© [applied] Foreign Affairs
© [applied] Foreign Affairs

… narrative continued

Using bamboo as an organic building material gives rise to new possibilities for local architecture, at the same time, it grants opportunities for new means of design and planning. Bamboo and its high flexure actively defines the form of the grid shell, which consists of 41 arches. The use of metal elements for joinery was avoided to prevent corrosion, which occurs a great deal in the salty climate of Ghana´s Atlantic coast location. Instead, thousands of bamboo nails were produced and used on site to construct and join the bamboo arches.

© [applied] Foreign Affairs
© [applied] Foreign Affairs
© Julien Lanoo

All the bamboo culms were treated with Borax, later, the primary structure was covered with a strong skin that could endure the strong wind forces, and that protects the bamboo from tropical rainfall and constant sun radiation

© Julien Lanoo
© Julien Lanoo

To build with culms of Bambusa vulgaris – one of the few “constructive” bamboo species available in Ghana – is a biological and structural challenge. The aim was to test the limits of its potentials and to set an extraordinary example for bamboo architecture.

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Founder and Senior Editor of ArchPosé. An Architect, blogger and editor with unwavering interests in youth driven programs and issues concerned with the development of the built environment of Ghana/Africa. A volunteer at heart, speaker, programs coordination and anything related to progressive, positive, passionate mindset change for development. Follow me on Twitter/Instagram @danielmolesarp and email me at dsmolecule@gmail.com

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