Marc Thorpe Design has partnered with Stage Six and Échale International to develop sustainable, ecologically responsible housing in Uganda, East Africa.
Kampala House is the first in a series of houses of various size to be built with partnerships in Africa.
The house comprises of three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, dining area, and a kitchen. Connected to the kitchen is an exterior wood burning stove for outdoor cooking, commonly found in Uganda. A large terrace wraps around the front and side of the house creating spaces to gather in the shade for outdoor activity.
Over the house is a large corrugated steel and wood roof designed to support solar panels, and harvest rainwater to be stored in an adjacent water tower. The concept of a water tower for each home is to provide a community network of water supply be able to access and share in the event of a drought.
The goal of the house is to create an environmentally responsible home that responds to its surrounding context and environment while providing a socio-economic opportunity to home ownership and community stewardship.
With the first houses of Echale International to be constructed in Uganda this Spring 2022, we caught up with architect Marc Thorpe to find out more about this exciting project.
What was the brief for this project?
The brief originated with Stage Six and Échale International to develop sustainable, ecologically responsible housing in Uganda, East Africa. According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, Uganda has a deficit of 2.1 million housing units, growing at a rate of 200,000 units a year. By 2030, the deficit is expected to reach three million units. The mission of Échale International is to build sustainable community development through social inclusion in the construction of housing and community infrastructure in the world.
Tell us about some of the design features.
The main construction material is EcoBlock made up of 90% local soil and 10% a mixture of cement, lime, sand and water. It is thermal and acoustic insulation, ecological and more resistant than cement block.
How did you tackle issues surrounding sustainability?
The house is designed to accommodate water collection, solar electricity, naturally ventilated and built from the earth itself.
How would you describe this project in three words?
Responsible, Honest and Humble.
About Marc Thorpe Design
Marc Thorpe Design was founded in 2010 by architect and industrial designer Marc Thorpe. Thorpe is known internationally for his innovative and dynamic work, taking a rigorous approach to the integration of architecture, design and hand craftsmanship. The studio conceptualizes design while embracing process and has the resources to produce consistent communication platforms. These include architecture, interior design, graphic design, furniture design, product design, retail and exhibit design.
About Stage Six
Stage Six helps commercially viable social enterprises use the franchise model to scale rapidly, vastly, and sustainably. Stage Six’s wide-ranging and geographically diverse client portfolio tackles essential needs, including health, nutrition, education, water, sanitation, housing, and clean energy. Because they are using the franchise model to expand, they all create local business ownership opportunities and jobs.
About Échale International
ÉCHALE is a social housing company that provides community infrastructure and is committed to improve the life quality of the families. Our main construction material is 90% local soil and 10% a mixture of cement, lime, sand and water. It is thermal and acoustic insulation, ecological and more resistant than cement block. The mission of Échale International is to build sustainable community development through social inclusion in the construction of housing and community infrastructure in the world.