• 21° House at Msasani Village/ Tharani Associates

Architects: Tharani Associates  
Location: Dar es salaam,  Tanzania
Project Year: 2008
Photographer: Tharani Associates

Year: 2004–2008

In the design of beach projects the main aim is to maximize on the free flow of the breeze through the building and views to the beach. The challenge however can be much harder if the plot is small and to achieve good views to all liveable spaces may not be a simple task.

This 3rd Best Project in 2010 by the Architects & Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Tanzania doesn’t just show how such challenges can be tackled in design but has gone father to incorporate the traditional aspects of the coast architecture. These aspects of the tradition can be seen in the long windows and the use of mirunda as screens, as well as to the round buildings of the interior.

 

Owing to its location on a small site, the project has a diagonal wall that increases the length of the façade facing the beach while the stepped section allows for free passage of the breeze which is essential for thermal comfort. The most crucial element of the project however is its form, which is not the convectional geometric forms but rather twisted which in overall reduces solar gain. Within this twisted form however are protruding curves that allows views of the front, the beach and trees in the cemetery from the bedroom and the study.

The double coding of the project functions is another aspect that the design team shows it mastery of integrated environmental design.  The staircase which serves the traditional function of transition acts also as a solar chimney allowing the heated air to escape through its high windows. The high floating terrace roof is multifunctional; it acts as a shade for the terrace but also acts as solar barriers to the spaces below. It being lightweight allows it to loose heat as fast as it gains it to the ambient air thus preventing unnecessary heat gains in the spaces below. Apart from also collection of rainwater the roof accommodates a solar heater.

 

The project generally has high ceiling heights which arguably reduces heat radiation effects in the building while also giving interesting living spaces. To top these aspects of environmental design, the project has creepers on the walls that act as insulation against direct sunlight.

This project is not a conventional project and may not have the common layout of spaces but the overall comfort levels achieved by the users surpasses all this which in essence is why architects design. We design for the human being and achieving human comfort then is the ultimate goal.

 

This project was 3rd Best Project in 2010 at the awards organized by the Architects & Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Tanzania to mark the 50 years of Construction Industry in the same country in 2011.

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