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okuma studio uses local materials + modular design for house in tanzania

following our coverage of the archstorming competition to design a house for a large family in tanzania, okuma studio has shared their proposal, which was awarded second prize. the brief tasked architects to develop a home for the jorejick family, and a model for low cost housing in africa. with this scheme, the barcelona based studio focused on finding the essential elements to produce a climate efficient dwelling while also creating delightful living spaces.

okuma studio combines local materials with modular design for house in tanzania

all images courtesy of okuma studio



the main constraints for this region are the cost of materials, skilled labor, and engineers. therefore, for the proposal to be viable it needed to use cheap locally sourced materials, simple construction for an unskilled workforce, and a modular design that could be replicated for other families. the challenge for okuma studio was to maximize the improvement of living quality within these constraints.

central courtyard



the house aims to bridge the gap between inside and outside. this gives the family a gradient of closeness to enjoy nature while also being protected from it. to achieve this, a continuous cover shields spaces from the direct sunlight while vegetation along the façades filters dust from the air. the central tree creates an entrance that connects all the sections of the house, in addition to a central meeting place that all the common spaces open on to.

in between spaces



the structure is defined by a simple section that repeats along the whole building, making it easy to build and scale to adapt to changing requirements. wooden beams rest on a thick rammed earth wall that acts as the central spine of the building. metal sheets finish the roof, while brick walls close the different rooms. these two elements are purposefully separated to allow a flow of air in between them. this flow dissipates heat from the rooms and the roof and prevents the air from the services reaching other parts of the house.

axonometric view

distribution of functions – plan view

detailed floor plan

longitudinal section

traverse section

structural diagrams


services diagrams

climate diagrams



project info:


project name: a home for africa – a house for the jorejick family

competition: archstorming

architect: okuma studio

design team: marc amigó cañas, gerardo peregrín arcas, miguel de rojas dierssen


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lynne myers | designboom


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