6 February

Appolonia, the mixed-use urban development near Accra, has launched its first urban design and architectural competition. The contest has been initiated to search for designs for a 500-unit affordable housing estate as the first phase of a 2,500 unit development on 161 acres of land.

The competition, in partnership with Ghana Home Loans and the Ghana Institute of Architects, has a deadline for submission of entries by 5th March 2017. The winning entries will be displayed publicly in March.

Twenty shortlisted competitors, made up of 12 local firms and eight foreign firms, have been invited for the competition. Three firms will be selected as winners for prizes of USD 15,000, USD 10,000 and USD 5,000 for first, second and third places, respectively.

Speaking on the launch of the competition Edward Nyarko, Head of Property Services at Ghana Home Loans, expressed his excitement about the opportunities that the Appolonia project is creating. “This is a terrific opportunity for architects from Ghana to compete with the best in class from across the globe. We are looking forward to seeing the results.”

Submissions will be assessed by a seven-member judging panel of professionals from the Ghana Institute of Architects and the Ghana real estate industry, with support from an advisory panel.

Holger Adam, Country Head of Rendeavour, Appolonia’s developer, believes the competition will provide a range of unique solutions to meet the rising need for affordable housing in the country. “Prototype designs of the houses must be based on the construction rate of USD 350 per square metre, which is actually 30% below the market rate of current affordable housing available in Ghana. This is something we actually plan to use in parts of Appolonia City to compliment our existing mid-level products such as The Oxford and Nova Ridge.”

The urban designs are expected to include schools, churches, neighbourhood nodes and public green spaces. The development will be in clusters of 200-250 units to create “mini-communities” and facilitate access control and security.