Harvest season, that time of the year that brings joy and relief to the people where they have a long history of fighting crop abuse and low harvest income. Farming has represented a leading actor in shaping the Afram plains also known as the breadbasket of Ghana. From the area's perpetual entanglement with farming, the campus will act as a catalyst forming a new nerve capable of creating identity in the local farming community and promoting innovative farming practices.
The site sits in the area of serine landscape where the golden crops and clear blue sky marks the infinite horizon. Approached from the peripheral vehicular road the raised wooden pathway meanders through the low green crops and water-bodies. The path leads to the building complex, an earthen-toned load-bearing structure that subtly sits beneath their overarching steel roof. The campus is structured in a way giving rise to a vehicular free central plaza where people can move freely inside the campus. This is exemplified in the naturalistic design of the plaza that serves as an informal extension to each of the buildings creating a space for socialization and union that extends beyond the constructed hardscape. The location of the buildings was accomplished keeping in mind their relationship and prominence in the setting, with the plaza acting as a core that connects all of them.
Our proposal for the campus aims to interweave the idea of circularity in building materials where most of them are gathered from the near precincts and can be further reused for various purposes. With the main inhabited area being in the center, now the freed-up peripheral ground is introduced with water-bodies and innovative farms bringing in aspects of multiplicity and temporality to the ground. The earth dug out to create water-bodies is used for making the compress stabilized earth blocks as a building material for the load-bearing volumes.
The aim of the new Building D: Innovation Farm thus extends beyond the simple provision of fragmented classrooms and cafes but vitally seeks to bring in the interactive and cohesive nature of a true public forum. All the layers of landscape, earthen building blocks, pathways, and farmlands combine together to form a palimpsest, one which maybe be continuously edited or expanded as the area is reinvented to form a larger complex and community.
ghana innovation farm (harvest season) | typology: institutional | date: january 2022 | location: ghana, africa | team: antorip choudhury, harin naik, harit naik, ashish dalal (the glassbox collective) | international design competition | client: manni group |