August 1, 2023


RH Carter Architects

The Teach on the Beach competition was presented by Archstorming, an organization whose goal is to create positive, sustainable change and encourage social responsibility in architecture. In collaboration with Busua-based NGO Teach on the Beach, this Archstorming competition’s ask was to “design a practical, eco-friendly, and inviting space that promotes access to TOB's educational initiatives for children and adults, fostering learning, socialization, and community involvement.”

The RH Carter Architects’ team, consisting of Bryce Jarman, Stephen Travers, Kael Samake, Mark Flores, were selected as finalists for their submission, titled Akomo Ntoso.

The educational center’s is inspired by “the Adinkra symbols of Ghana and West Africa,” and is meant to be a space that brings the Busua community together. “Our goal was to draw on Ghanaian culture, utilize local materials and building processes, and to create an interesting space that the entire community can enjoy for many different purposes.”

Read the brief below and be sure to check out the competition page to learn more.

“Akoma Ntoso consists of the already built school and three additional buildings arranged around the site perimeter creating a courtyard. The courtyard can be viewed and engaged from each building, allowing everyone to feel linked to one another on the site. Not only is our site meant to connect people to one another, but we aim to create a strong involvement with nature and dedication to sustainability.  

We have appointed plenty of space for gardens and orchards to provide nourishment to the school and community. The site will be well equipped to harvest rainwater for use throughout the bathrooms and kitchen areas as well as irrigation for the gardens. Each building is designed to allow natural cooling, heat ventilation, and solar shading creating a comfortable environment for all. By using local materials and simple construction techniques, the need for large scale equipment is mitigated and the carbon footprint is minimal, while the local economy is stimulated.  

Throughout the site we also integrate the culture of Ghana by incorporating Kente cloth as decorative hangings and through the use of the Adinkra Symbol, Nea Onnim, as a pattern in various locations. We hope that over the years the blank rammed earth walls can be a canvas for the students and community to paint so everyone can be part of the design.”  

Congratulations to the team for their thoughtful design and for their successful submission.