Flex Houses, Africa

Designed by Cresolus (Panama) in collaboration with the team at the Princes Foundation for Building Community, these buildings have been developed as part of a sustainable, urban expansion project in Central Africa.

The development, set in Libreville, the capital and largest city of Gabon, focussed entirely on using locally sourced materials, skills and manufacturing.

The houses, that are designed to be flexible using a modular, precast concrete structure following specific guidelines, ensuring comfort and longevity in a hot, humid climate. The structures are also changeable and adaptable, responding to the evolving needs of the inhabitants.

Models were needed to present to HRH Prince Charles and President Al Bongo Ondinga of Gabon to help them better understand both the building system and the tropical design elements.

To fulfil the brief, we created 1:50 scale models from birch ply, solid beach and walnut veneer, using the wood colouring to define different elements. For the windows we used clear Perspex and the timber cladding detail was laser engraved.

Following the presentation of the models, we were delighted that the designs were approved and the development went ahead.