In Accra, a landmark building has helped in creating mental maps for its city users, contributing to the local conditions of the site. Through demonstrating the possibility of building high-rise in an equatorial, earthquake risk location, the Architects, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, have offered a new housing prototype for Ghana’s emerging middle class.
Located in the Airport Residential suburb of Accra, Ghana and adjacent to the Tetteh Quarshie interchange, the setting of Villaggio Vista is both unique and highly desirable. Residents can enjoy the peace and ambience associated with the prestigious residential suburb while experiencing the energy and convenience offered from the proximity to the shopping mall, international schools, restaurants and the airport.
Through use of traditional patterns indigenous to citizens of Ghana, Kente weaving patterns have been used to give the building a bold local identity as seen from afar. The pattern of the ‘Kente’ weave provided the starting point and has been abstracted to create for the unique and distinctive aesthetic. Sustainable measures taken include the use of narrow, tall, and recessed windows to reduce solar gain. The shadows created by the recessed windows also are used to accentuate the Kente cloth patterns by the alucobond panels along the facades. The rooftop pool acts as a thermal barrier from the harsh overhead equatorial sun.
The project’s first stage completed in 2011 offers 36 apartments across two connected buildings. The future two stages are on site which will add 110 more apartment units, offices, retail and a gym. Villaggio Vista consists of three magnificent residential structures over- looking a central garden each wrapped in a distinctive Kente inspired ‘skin’: Aqua: an 8 to12 floor Green building, Azure: a 17 floor Red tower and Alto: a 27 floor signature Yellow tower. At 27 floors this will be the tallest residential building in West Africa and built to exceptional standards.
The first of three Villaggio Vista blocks, the Azure boasts an elegant entrance lobby and breathtaking roof top pool and terrace area. Contained within the Azure are the 3 bedroom (V-230) and 4 bedroom (V-310) units as well as the penthouses, V-SKY and V-Star. Aqua is the distinctive green building that embraces the horizontal plane whilst following the same proportions as the taller towers. It contains 2-bedroom (V-140) and 3-bedroom (V-220) apartments. The latest addition is the Alto apartment block that harbours 3-bedroom with servants quarter layout (V-215) with larger alternatives in the form of duplexes, studio apartments and penthouses (V-240), (V-Star) and (V-G).
Cantilevered upper floors help in responding to other local and more distant landmarks, it also maximizes the use of the internal spaces in the apartments on that level. The architects focused to center the large semi-enclosed sky- courtyards on the apartments so as to bring in light into the deep plans. In developing the architectural language of Villaggio Vista the focus was on environmental efficiency and the adoption of some local cultural references.
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