Archives For africa

round houses with a view

February 18, 2015 — 1 Comment

Sunrise in northern Ethiopia, near Lalibela –

northern ethiopia sunrise

build different

November 13, 2014 — Leave a comment

In a village full of rectangular houses near the town of Grimari, Central African Republic, one house stands out –

central african republic (nr grimari)

central african repub (nr grimari)

psychedelic african hut

August 19, 2014 — 1 Comment

In the Gambia, a new take on an old form


les maisons ballons

November 21, 2013 — 2 Comments

A colony of Wallace Neff’s bubble houses (“maisons ballons”) in Dakar — as they look now –

neff, bubble houses, dakar, 2013

And as they looked in 1949, when they were built –

neff, bubble houses, dakar

tanzania round houses

a 1940s housing bubble

March 25, 2012 — 3 Comments

Wallace Neff, a Southern California architect who made Spanish-style mansions for Hollywood stars in the ’30s and ’40s, also tried his hand at designing innovative, low-cost housing for the poor.  His Airform houses, often called bubble houses, were inexpensive and easy to build –

Meant to remedy 1940s housing shortages, the houses never caught on in the United States.  Only a few hundred of them were built here, rather than the thousands that Neff expected, and nearly all have since been torn down.

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