Innonative


It's been a while (a year, to be exact) since I was introduced to-- and first thrilled by-- the work of Ghanaian architect Joe Osae-Addo. A proponent of what he calls, "inno-native design," Osae-Addo believes that "interstitial spaces and landscape are what define tropical architecture," and that the elements-- air, light, wind, water, trees-- and all their imperfections are to be embraced.

The images below are from his one-story, 2500 sq ft home in Accra (the one above, from Archiafrika, is unidentified). The absence of hallways allow for the free passage of light and air-- the latter of which is of paramount importance in an equatorial country like Ghana, where the heat often does battle with the humidity. Adobe mud block and timber culled from the countryside were chief among the building materials.



Osae-Addo's company, Constructs LLC, handles all manner of urban planning, landscaping, and architectural projects with an eye to bringing modern architecture and building techniques to Africa in a way that is contextually and culturally appropriate. Constructs has also made room on its full docket to join Brad Pitt and the Make it Right team in their efforts to rebuild the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans.

Mr. Addo is on the roster for a conference to be held in March in Monrovia that I also plan on attending; I do hope I get to chat with him! Read more about his philosophy and his home (and the darling backstory that catalyzed its construction) in the Dwell article and podcast.

5 comments:

January 4, 2009 at 12:21 PM kiss my black ads said...

Wow, very inspiring. Great lines. You can literally see the cognitive process made live. Blog on!

January 6, 2009 at 1:26 PM Bee said...

I actually hated louvres (my boarding school was covered in them, it seemed) till I saw this.
Beautiful.

January 7, 2009 at 3:51 AM Style Noir said...

Right?! They're so... pedestrian. But they work like a dream here.

January 12, 2009 at 6:04 PM James Brenner said...

I agree with you about Joe's work. He is one of the most gifted architects I've ever worked with, anywhere. He is working for us on a project in Liberia than will knock-your socks off when you see it.

January 12, 2009 at 8:04 PM Sadia Bruce said...

You don't say! How far along is it? Rather, how far along will it be in about eight weeks? I'm dying to see it...

I'm going to email you. Thanks for stopping by, Mr. Brenner.