The Magoda Project is a series of eight prototype homes constructed in in Magoda, a rural village in the Tanga region of Tanzania. The project explores design elements of traditional Asian and African homes to generate a variety of new and improved housing designs to minimise diseases in rural Africa. It also use as a tool to evaluate the indoor climate of different housing designs, modifications and building materials.

In sub-Saharan Africa, many infectious diseases including Malaria are acquired in and around the home. Therefore there are great demands to improve the health of local residents, specifically through the space they spend the majority of their time in – the home. Low-cost houses prevalent in rural Africa usually consist of mud or brick walls with few (if any) windows. Airflow is minimal and basic facilities such as cooking areas, safe water supply and sanitation are usually absent or rudimentary. Moreover, when used properly bed nets are highly protective against malaria but they also reduce the airflow, contributing to the discomfort of sleeping in poorly ventilated houses.

The eight houses integrate Asian architectural features (to optimise airflow) with local African building methods. Alongside collaboration with local engineers, labourers, doctors and sociologists, the final designs were materialised through precise research and observations of the local climate, to maximise indoor comfort. The building types are single or double storey houses clad in timber, bamboo or shade-net, with semi-outdoor kitchens, water-harvesting tanks and sanitation facilities. 

On average the new homes were 2.3 degress celcius cooler and had 86% fewer mosquitos than traditional homes. 


The double-storey homes had the lowest mosquito density with a 96% reduction, compared to traditional and one storey modified houses.

The project engages with local community leaders and important stakeholders to improve the acceptance of the new housing designs. The housing designs optimise comfort and health in rural African homes through locally developed structures and materials.


Location: Tanzania

Credit: Ingvartsen Arkitekter and project team; Jakob Knudsen, Lorenz von Seidlein, William N. Kisinza, Konstantin Ikonomidis, Emi Bryan, Salum Mshamu and Kiondo Mgumi.

Images: Konstantin Ikonomidis