3 Villas [3Vs]
Name/Location: 3 Villas [3Vs], Ahodwo-Kumasi. Ghana
Firm/Office: Modula Grup
Supervisory Architect: Ernest Banning
Project Designer: Kobina K. Banning
Project Year:

The need to get a place settle after moving back home to Ghana from the USA
necessitated the initiation this project by the designer as his personal home. The
project location[Ahodwo] is one of the 1st class residential areas in Kumasi and as a
result there is high land value.

Philosophy + Concept
This phenomenon of high land value is what influenced the philosophy of maximizing
use of land[space] for the project. Therefore, having 3 separate blocks of
apartments each with a parking lot on the same piece of land was the result; with
one block for the designer and the other two for family or rent. From the designer,
“the concept is very simple, we play a lot with solid and void spaces as a matter the
building serves as a massing block and we start carving out the areas of
convenience. So you carve your garden area, utility area, where car will park, carve
out where light will penetrate etc”. Basically the concept is about taking out from a
big mass; that is addition and subtraction of volumes.

Structure + Materials
From the designer on the building structure, “you need to culturally adapt to the
location, know what is available in existence and expertise. So you do not just design
something when the system is not ready to build it”. This was the backbone of the
decision to go with a simple post and beam construction which is a prevailing
system of construction within the context of the project. Preference was given to
concrete blocks for this project due to the designer’s fear of local artisans producing
low quality sandcrete blocks; because at least concrete blocks will yield higher
factor of safety. However, certain walls in the project were casted in place with in-

situ reinforced concrete. The project also made use of materials like aluminium
frames, glass windows and doors, stone finishes, timber shading etc.
The peculiarity of this project is the fact that every pocket of space gives an
aperture for something unique. For example the exterior garden can be
experienced from the dining area, cooking can be felt whilst in the living room
working due to the open plan etc; and all these lead to what the designer calls
‘Discovery” within the building. Another significant character is the rustic timber
shading devices and the cantilevered staircase which made the designer
concludes that “in retrospect all these ideas put in the 3Vs help to put a site that
utilizes the land in its fullest and at the same time enjoys what nature has to give”.