architect juergen strohmayer shares his design for an extension to an existing dwelling in western accra, ghana. the proposed intervention is characterized by its street-facing elevation. wrapped in a porous façade of breeze blocks, it strikes a balance between openness and privacy within the west african metropolis.
dansoman studio responds to the growing neighborhood and new urban lifestyles
images and drawings courtesy of juergen strohmayer
the project, called dansoman studio, has been developed closely alongside the client. the brief involves the remodeling and extension of a typical residential compound in the ghanian capital. juergen strohmayer‘s response brings together an awareness of changing lifestyles, sustainability, and a new design language in the city.
a porous façade of breeze blocks creates privacy while allowing for natural light and ventilation in the new building
the floor plan of the existing L-shaped building is simplified and reconfigured to give the four tenants increased privacy. the contemporary lifestyle of co-living for young, urban users is facilitated by creating easier access to shared amenities such as the kitchen and living room. a new two-story loft is positioned on the southern edge of the lot, creating a courtyard between the old and new structures and blocking views and noise from the large urban space that borders the site towards the south.
the studio design is based on the lifestyle of the client and includes floor to ceiling windows behind the characteristic façade
the new building functions as a self-contained studio and is accessed from the newly formed courtyard. the design creates a base in the city for the client’s traveling lifestyle as a creative entrepreneur. the living room and open kitchen are on the first floor, a bedroom and study are on the second floor.
the design creates a courtyard between the old and new buildings, providing a shared space for the tenants
the form of this new building responds to the slope of the terrain that runs through the site so that floors step down towards the east and the roof is sloped down towards the southeast. this gives the building a dynamic silhouette that echoes the natural contours of the land. solar gain on the building is minimized by shorter east and west façades.
a planter between the street and the building façade replaces a typical fence wall
the building is wrapped in a porous façade of breeze blocks on its three urban sides, giving it a strong presence in the neighborhood while supporting natural light and cross-ventilation. a large planter mediates between the building façade and the street and replaces a generic fence wall. the design aims to propose a new residential building form of tropical breeze blocks, which wrap an elegant volume as well as adding lush vegetation to the streetscape, inviting the neighborhood to develop in a more communally-minded way.
the elegant building volume is wrapped in a porous façade that negotiates views and privacy between the interior and the neighborhood
the design invites the growing neighborhood to develop in more communally-minded directions
the new building sits on the southern edge of the site, protecting the courtyard and remodeled building from noise and being overlooked
first floor plan
second floor plan
axonometric with section
project name: dansoman studio
location: accra, ghana
architect: juergen strohmayer
program: private residence
year: 2020 – ongoing
design team: juergen strohmayer, abdul-rauf issahaque
edited by: lynne myers | designboom