Affordable Housing in Africa

The brief of the thesis was simple: Create 5.000 housing units for families on a large, empty site located in the south part of Ouagadougou. I sought to take the assignment one step further, developing a sustainable master plan that has a positive influence on the settlements around the site.

My design tries to tackle the most urgent issues of Ouagadougou: water and waste management and the creation of sustainable, low-cost housing. Own research shows that water collection in so-called “Berkads” is currently the best solution in Burkina Faso and other African countries. By collecting, recycling and reusing garbage and gravel from the city of Ouagadougou, terraces are created to allow a natural water flow down the terraces into Berkads and water tanks in the housing units. Following Alejandro Aravena’s and B.V. Doshi‘s principles on social housing, incremental building processes are key to foster individuality and identity. Thus, the construction of the housing units is based on simple concrete frames and locally produced “compressed earth blocks” (CEBs) that allow residents to build and improve their home by themselves over time.

Urban Design, Concept, Sustainability

Technical University of Munich
Supervisor: Prof. Francis Kéré
Chair: Design and Participation
Partner: Martin Rucker