Panellists call for merger of traditional and modern architecture

Accra- Panellists at a forum to commemorate the World Architecture Day on Tuesday unanimously agreed that traditional and modern architecture should be merged to ensure ease of construction and affordable low-income housing.

They said this style of architecture was appropriate for enhancing the construction of communal buildings like schools, hospitals and markets in suburban communities to reduce the infrastructure deficit.

The Day was celebrated on the theme: Leveraging Architecture and Good Designs for Greener and Better World.

MrsAkosuaObeng Mensah, an Architect with OrthnerOrthner and Associates, who shared her perspective on the theme at a forum organised by the Ghana Institute of Architects in Accra, said the dying African architectural heritage was a socio-cultural emergency, as traditional architecture remained an indispensable aspect of African history and cultural heritage.

She recommended that local architects must be incentivised to look towards indigenous architecture as a way to encouraging their mass production across the Continent.

Mrs Mensah stated that new works by contemporary African architects and designers had demonstrated the vast potential of traditional African architecture when combined with modern design, materials and construction techniques.

Mr James George Inedu, the Director of HTL Africa, stated that traditional African architecture, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, had not profited from this renaissance and had instead steadily lost its appeal across the Continent.

He said the neglect of indigenous architecture resulted in the dearth of skilled craftsmen knowledgeable in the art of traditional building, which had further dimmed hopes for a revival of that architectural style.

MrInedu noted that African architecture, such as compound houses, had enough space that allowed free movement and was used for recreational and economic purposes.

He expressed optimism that the African architecture was a spirit and could be inculcated into the modern design to create wonderful designs.

Mr Richard NiiAdade, the President of Ghana Institute of Architects, said traditional building methods naturally created a sustainable green environment where vegetables and other crops were cultivated around the compound.

He called for the need to build structures that could withstand the effects of climate change including flooding and high temperature.

MrAdade advised architects to be innovative by exploring options of using local materials to construct buildings that were affordable and durable in order to help reduce the huge housing deficit in the country.

The problem in the housing sector is not only about designs but the issue of land turner system, the interest rate on housing loans, and expensive nature of materials. All these, when addressed, can help reduce the price of housing, he added.

MrAdade advised the public to patronise the services of Architects since it was cost-effective in the long term, safe and secure as compared to the use of services of unprofessional that was cheap but not durable.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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