Located in Accra, Ghana, this project is composed of approximately 38,500m2 of predominantly residential accommodation. The development caters to the newly emerging middle and professional classes, and, in particular, the growing number of Ghanaian expats returning home. This is sign of growing confidence in the country as its stability and economic strength continues to grow. The scheme comprises four buildings, each with a projecting end orientating the building to address a local landmark – Lake Volta, Achimota Forest Reserve, the Gulf of Guinea. The main 30 storey tower, due for completion in 2011, will be the tallest in Ghana. Structural design by Adams Kara Taylor focuses on construction methods and technologies appropriate to the area. The scheme will act as a catalyst for urban growth in a country which, until now, has predominantly focused on single storey, self-contained bungalow style accommodation. Innovations TypologyThe project works to actively reduce sprawl; proposing a contemporary urban lifestyle in a high density community. In doing so, it provides an alternative to outmoded ideas of domestic space in Ghana. Environmental A number of measures are employed to respond to the equatorial tropical location. The buildings are heavily insulated and employ a rainscreen with an enlarged ventilation cavity to reduce the solar load. Window openings are limited and then are recessed and shaded. Solar thermal panels will take advantage of the sun to provide hot water. Sky Courtyards Apartments are designed around generous sky courtyards which are semi enclosed and therefore shaded external spaces. These provide diffuse light deep into the plan. With appropriate planting and materials, these spaces will form a visual and environmental oasis at the heart of each apartment. Identity through Materiality The planar façade design takes its cue from the patterns and colours of the traditional Kente fabric, one of the symbols of Ghanaian chieftaincy. The elevations of the buildings thus elicit notions of identify and pride.