“A village & home in symbiosis with its environment”

Home for a family focusing on water management & heat.
Guide : Sang Lee
TU Delft, M.Sc 2, 2021
Elective: Aesthetics of sustainable architecture.
Location : Dallol, Danakil, Ethiopia.
Group: Darshik Parejiya, Jiahui Yu, Maja Lindborg, Wenda Andryani.

Keywords: Materiality, Harsh climates, Water, Lifestyle, Sun.

‘Welcome to Ethiopia and Danakil, the home of the Afar people. The year is 2050, and Ethiopia has experienced a rapid growth in urbanisation, with an increase of people moving to the bigger cities in the search of an easier life. Some people still choose to live in smaller settlements, dealing with the harsh climate and reality of nature. Our family is an example of such people and is living in a village near Dallol, which has the highest average temperature on Earth. Blistering heat, drought, barren soil are some of daily challenges that our family face. The area around Dallol is traditionally known for its salt-mining. In recent years the area has also experienced an increase of visiting tourists, a substantial side income that benefits the local area. 

Our house aims to deal with the challenging climate conditions of the area, whilst designing a house with limited resources. Although the house is already in the village, our aim is to make our house melt in while trying to prevent further damaging on the landscape. Extreme temperatures and the lack of water are two of the most challenging problems our project face. The people living here all face the same daily difficulties, which in turn have shaped the village into a unified society. Integrated with the essential principles of sustainability.

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The clients and Tourism:

Hypothetical scenario in 2050

As a side-income, the extended family host tourists in their house. The tourists are mostly American and European who travel to Ethiopia as a part of a backpacking trip. The age range of the tourists is big, ranging from students having a gap year from university to older couples wanting to see the world in their retirement.


The house:

Design principles.

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Separate volumes.

Allows air to flow through.

Open roof for ventilation.

Roof protects from direct sunlight.

Services adjoined to reduce piping

Livestock close to sanitation to maintain hygiene.

Central social space that interacts with the other homes.

Thicker walls in the direction of the sun.


The house:

Water infrastructure.

A. Water from river is treated in village scale and stored in underground water tank.

B. Water collected from rainwater harvesting and fog catcher are filtered locally.

C. Grey water from each house is filtered and used for aquaponic system located in the central courtyard used for producing vegetables.

D. Sewage water will be treated at village scale and put back into the ground to recharge soil aquifer.


The house:

A Solar Envelope

The roof construction is freestanding and independent from the rest of the house. This gives it a possibility to make it more lightweight and shape it according to the environment and program.


Using Ladybug to maximize the solar exposure on the roof, by changing its shape and composition. The final iteration sets the length and bending of each bamboo, that can be easily assembled on site.

The house:


The house is designed for a family of 5 and a family of tourists who come to Danakil to visit Dalol. The massing of the house is done responding to their lifestyles. The diagrams below show the 24hr time-line of the family throughout the week.

Monday to Friday
Monday to Friday

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The house: