• Wed. Jun 7th, 2023

UGANDA, Wakiso | Real Muloodi News | An anonymous homeowner in Busabala, Wakiso District designed their house to incorporate African home designs rather than the typical Eurocentric style found in the area.

Inspired by a conversation with American architects, the owner did research on the differences between African and European architecture and challenged himself to come up with an Afrocentric design.

Afrocentric design in architecture is a style that is inspired by the history, culture, and aesthetics of Africa. It is a design philosophy that draws from traditional African architectural styles, materials, and techniques, while incorporating modern technology and building practices.

The homeowner wanted a contemporary home, but with an Afrocentric look and feel that embodied sense of cultural continuity and a strong sense of place.

He engaged the services of Patricia Rutiba, the managing director and principal architect at Dream Architects Ltd, who designed a concept that accommodated all his specifications and even suggested some features that would enhance his concept.

Rutiba, who found the plot quite challenging, had to think of the best way to build the house, which optimises the space while emphasising its great features, such as the incredible views of Lake Victoria that can be enjoyed from the first floor to the roof terrace.

The property is surrounded by carefully selected greenery, which blends well with the design and colours. The compound is dotted here and there with shrubs and fragrant plants, making this home a calm haven.

The Design Concept

The design was inspired by a conversation the homeowner had with architects, who asked why Ugandans borrowed most of their designs from European architecture when they have their designs that are rich.

During his research, he discovered that European architecture was popularised in Africa during the colonial period when powers such as France and Britain started constructing administrative buildings and towns that mostly mirrored European building culture.

Consequently, the local labour force concentrated on learning how to construct European designs at the expense of original and rich traditional buildings. This lack of interest in local construction impeded any evolution that might have organically occurred in African architectural design.

The homeowner challenged himself to come up with a design that was Afrocentric and still contemporary. His goal was to pay homage to African traditional structures that embraced curves instead of modern sharp angles.

He turned to an expert, Patricia Rutiba, to help him turn his dream into reality.

“This beauty has a ballistic lake view from its roof terrace in Busaabala,” says Patricia Khayongo Rutiba, Managing Director at Dream Architects Ltd

He wanted the interior of the house filled with natural light, so she suggested the extraordinarily high curved windows that support this.

Rutiba did an excellent job coming up with a design concept that accommodated all his specifications and even suggested some things that would elevate his idea.

“Architecture can be whimsical and suited to an individual’s taste. What do you do when a client tells you they do not want to see any straight lines in the plan of their house, only curves, arches, arcs, except for the z axis, the vertical lines of the walls? You give them a curvilicious house, that’s what you do!” says Rutiba.

“I dare you to challenge your architect; stretch them and see what can be done,” she challenges.

Design Execution

The house’s exterior is a unique and modern design with abundant windows, smooth curves, angles, voids, and pillars.

The colourful and neutral hues make the interior both unobtrusive and calming, and the abundant windows allow plenty of natural light to flow within.

The upper floor is accessed by a majestic winding staircase with interesting features such as an accent wall of exposed brick and a supersized mural.

The house has high ceilings that create spatial definition and a sense of quiet elegance and substantial luxury.

The kitchen features rich dark wood cabinets and tiled back splash, complemented by stainless steel and dark marble worktops

The home is designed for flexible living and entertaining, with fluid, inviting spaces and a richness of colour.

The open living and entertaining spaces flow easily into each other, allowing for multipurpose use. For instance, the kitchen area and the dining area are connected.

The design also includes a common room on the second floor that joins all the bedrooms together.

The family spends time together in this area, where the younger family members prefer to host their friends, leaving the main sitting room on the ground floor for the adults.

The floors are a combination of tiles and polished wood.

Taking advantage of its proximity to the largest freshwater lake in Africa, the family residence has a spacious balcony where one can sit to enjoy the cool breeze coming from the lake and take in the magnificent views of the surrounding areas.

The house’s exterior blends well with the home’s surroundings and accent colours were used to give the home splashes of colour and break the monotony.

Choosing Colours

Interior designer Aggrey Agbara helped the homeowner express his taste by helping him choose different colours for different spaces. He considered things such as the size of the room, and its shape.

The bright, colourful dining chairs add a splash of colour

Afrocentric design is a wonderful celebration of African culture and history in buildings and spaces that are both beautiful and functional.

About Dream Architects

Patricia Khayongo Rutiba, Managing Director at Dream Architects Ltd explains her company’s mission is to be a vibrant, evolving architectural firm that exudes excellence in client care, design delivery, project management and training of Uganda’s future architects.

She says Dream Architects is on the cutting edge of the architectural profession with respect to training and innovations in environmental sensitivity, health and safety.

“We use divine inspiration in design and courteously giving our clients value for money, all to God’s glory,” she says.

See their design portfolio HERE

Contact Dream Architects Ltd

Phone: +256 756 059 338

Email: [email protected]


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