Date begun: June 2020
Completion date: Ongoing
Floor area: 4,046m²
Status: Concept Design
Epignotects – AD was appointed by the Agyare’s (a Ghanaian Diasporan family) in early July 2020 to transform their newly purchased building at Weija in Accra. The vicinity is already developed with predominantly residential buildings both up and down a steep and rocky slope.
The building is an uncompleted structure and it sits halfway on a one-acre plot. The property has been abandoned for about 5 years and so most part has to be reconstructed. The existing uncompleted structure has 14 number rooms and spaces on ground floor; and 5 rooms and spaces on the first floor. The structure was poorly designed in terms of floor levels. It was not designed to take advantage of the slope leading to too many unplanned steps within the ground floor and top floor. Almost 450mm stepping after each 4m distance across the ground floor.
The structure is to be demolished / remodeled, and a double Storey contemporary luxury house designed and constructed in place.
Our client wanted a plush luxury residence to accommodate his family of 6 when they move to Ghana, and have enough luxury living rooms and play rooms.
Epignotects-AD were appointed to provide a full service as Architect, Lead Consultant and, working together with the client’s representative and other relevant consultants as would be required.
Key challenges and opportunity:
- Steep and rocky land
- Poorly designed foundation levels and responding to a varied floor levels, ceiling heights
- construction inaccuracies and poor alignments
- From the outset, we saw an opportunity for a stepped building and expansive outdoor living and internal courtyard for daylighting and ventilation
Existing view of structure
Brief Development & Feasibility Studies:
After assessing existing building structure with it being built to accommodate 11 rooms both initial options and through conversations with our client based on client’s needs, we chose to have our luxury residence to accommodate the following spaces:
5 to 6 number ensuite bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms,
internal courtyard and seating area well-lit to benefit from direct sunlight from roof and bring daylight deep into the other rooms. entertainment rooms, kitchen and utility rooms. staff rooms
The top floor was to be private family space and would have:
The master bedroom suite (his /hers spaces),Kids rooms, Living and dining rooms ,Roof terrace and entertainment bar
Concept Design Development
Design Process / Strategy:
From the outset, we saw an opportunity for a steeped building and expansive outdoor living and internal courtyard for day lighting and ventilation. Our design strategy was:
- Demolish most of existing structures as required.
- Reduce the multi stepped ground floor level to two levels, cut and fill to minimize the number of steps to climb to each level.
- Expand upper floor to comfortably cater for family bedroom and living rooms.
- Utilize the other half plot for extensive landscape and outdoor living; direct views and living activities towards the landscaped area.
- Create internal courtyard with a skylight for lighting and ventilation into the rooms especially at ground level.By opening up the hallway to the south facing living space we would be bringing daylight deep into the hallway, thereby unlocking its potential as another ‘room’ or gallery space for our collector client.
- It left the living spaces facing south where they benefit from better daylight and direct sunlight.
- Include external terraces around bed rooms and livings rooms for relaxation, shading and good views
- Utilize ground floor roof as terrace for seating and relaxation. Step external ground in different areas to reduce the height of steps required within the building concept.
Ground Floor Plan
First Floor Plan
From the outset we saw an opportunity to be unlocked with the large interior spaces. However, it was an internal ‘room’; windowless and dark, a long corridor of mono-functional circulation space.
We started by exploring 2 radically different potential layouts for the flat. Both options had one principle in common; the large hallway was treated as an additional ‘room’ that opened up and flowed into the living spaces.
In so doing the hallway benefited from ‘borrowed’ natural light and views through adjacent rooms and out to the street. It was no longer internal in nature.
Garden -Side view