Design: students of Peter Behrens School of Arts/ University of Applied Arts; Georgia Institute of Technology (USA); Have Institute of Technology (Ghana); Hochschule Koblenz (Germany)
Project management: Peter Behrens School of Arts/ University of Applied Arts (Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Judith Reitz/ M.A. Thomas Schaplik/ Franz Klein-Wiele/ Jochen Zäh MA/ Dipl.-Ing. Laura Niemann-Delius); Georgia Institute of Technology (Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Daniel Baerlecken/ BA, MS, ARIA Katherine Wright/ BA Jacquie Macher/ MA Spencer Pursley);
Collaboration: Have Institute of Technology (Ghana); Hochschule Koblenz (Germany);
Structural consultancy: imagine structure GmbH Frankfurt/ Köln (Prof. Dr. Ing. Arne Künstler);
TGA consultancy: Transsolar KlimaEngineering, Stuttgart
Client: Meeting Bismark e.V., Köln/ Ghana
Photo credits: Pbsa / Rwth / Meeting Bismark
About 50 students have designed and built a midwife dormitory together with American students, German craft apprentices and Ghanaian vocational students during their semester break. The village of Havé Etoe is located in the middle of the jungle in the mountainous part Ghanas. Like most villages, Havé is a typical "street village" and is situated along a busy road connecting the south and north of the country. 8000 people live in Havé, about half of them are children. The Volta Region is mainly dependent on agriculture. The maternity ward with the attached infirmary is the central heart of the village community. Due to the large supply area, the need for specialists in obstetrics is increasing; however, it has not been possible to increase the staff due to a lack of housing. Midwives come from all parts of the country and need protected housing with their families. Until now, the professionals have always been separated from their families for years. The Cologne-based association Meeting Bismarck e.V. has analysed the situation and has been working for years to improve it. In total, the midwife house consists of four mini units, each with 30 m2 of living space. The two houses, each with two living units, are connected by an internal common courtyard. This forms the central, liveliest place in the complex and offers sufficient space for communal living. Model for the arrangement of the four housing units was the old traditional, unfortunately mostly forgotten Ghanaian "compound settlement", in which various families and villagers traditionally live in a close union around a communal very close centre. Following the vernacular concept a sustainable house with a passive climate concept has been designed, where Ghanaian and German midwives and students live, work, learn and train with their families in a shared flat in the immediate vicinity of the maternity ward. Important for the project is at the same time the securing of the privacy of the individual midwives, the creation of an inviting atmosphere for the often insecure patients and a close family community of midwives. Each unit has a small kitchen, 6 sleeping places, a multifunctional living room and a bathroom. Outside there is a communal outdoor cooking area, a well, a washing facility and large covered terraces. One of the living units and the largest terrace offers space for courses -natal preparation and baby and toddler care – as well as care, vaccinations and examinations for newborns. The joint design + construction, the living and working together of the universities, the future users + the village on site is an essential aspect and supports the direct experience of the "Build Together – Learn Together" concept. The challenge of the program promotes the strengthening of self-responsible action for all participants and creates a collective process of social community.