Maciej Grelewicz

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Earth House

Luanda, Angola

competition, 2014

 

Project's aspiration is to create simple, sustainable house, blended with the surroundings and rooted in the local building traditions. In hot Angolan climate providing protection from the sun is crucial for inhabitants comfort. To minimize sun penetration and allow views all windows are shadowed by deep overhangs. Narrow plan and fenestration of two opposite sides of each room allows natural ventilation, thus greatly reducing the use of active cooling systems.

 

Living and sleeping zones of the house are divided by big shaded terrace - the heart of building, especially during the evenings and colder months. The whole structure is covered by flat concrete roof – its white colour reflects sun's rays and minimizes the need for cooling. All the walls are made of rammed earth - taking inspiration from traditional African huts, often build from mud or earth. This material is easily accessible, sustainable and protects the building from overheating. Use of local sand naturally blends the house with the surrounding landscape.