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Comfort Conditions in Early Post-Colonial Architecture in Ghana

Summary of Article by Victor Kootin-Sanwu / Edited by Dirk van den Heuvel , Maarten Mesam , Wido Quist & Bert Lemmens

The University of Science and Technology was built in 1952 – 1961 in the early years of Ghana’s independence. By the time British colonial rule ended, many of the cultural practices of the colonial powers had been incorporated into the fabric of Ghanaian society. In this conference paper, Kootin-Sanwu illustrates how post-colonial architectural heritage and its development over several decades drew upon earlier examinations and understandings of the relationships between buildings and humid climates. As architecture became a statement of importance, buildings built to reflect a sense of growth and self-sustainability would portray a new democracy and statehood. The Great Hall, the main auditorium of the University, is utilized as an example of this national turn. Design by British architects who had learned the rules of tropical design, The Great Hall demonstrates the climatic restraints placed on design practice and comfort conditions.