Primary energy need :
(Calculation method : Other )
The Takienta (Otammari construction) is the only one-story dwelling in the world built entirely of local materials. It is original and elaborate and is in perfect correspondence with the culture and beliefs of its inhabitants. The Takienta dwelling presents a symbolic division between the first floor where we find: the mortar, the millstone, the kitchen, the cattle, the altar, the old man's room and the floor where we find: the attics, the terraces, the toilets and the bedrooms. Thus, the first floor constitutes the place of the living while the seconf floor is that of the dead. The dwelling thus shelters both the living and the ancestors, and must also be considered as a temple dedicated to worship.
The construction of this dwelling allows a judicious and rational use of eco-materials still called "bio-sourced materials" available locally. These materials are of natural origin (water, earth), vegetable (wood, fruits of the néré and the karité, straw, raffia, kenaf, millet stem, rice straw, fonio straw) and animal (cow dung). During construction, everything is designed to adapt to the intrinsic qualities of the raw materials, or to minimize the quantities used, or to avoid or delay possible degradation, and thus facilitate maintenance.
All these characteristics make takienta an exemplary ecological house.
Owner approach of sustainability
The Takienta dwelling presented in this competition is a construction of the Ecomusée Tata Somba for conservation purposes for present and future generations.
Established along the chain of Atacora in the heart of a magnificent landscape (Koutammakou), the Otammari "the one who shapes the earth" has invented a construction system allowing him to build his habitat in the respect of its biodiversity. The Koutammakou is an eminent example of the occupation of the territory by a people in constant search of harmony between man and the nature that surrounds him.
Ecologists before their time, the Batammariba have practiced an architecture that we would call ecological today. Transmitted from generation to generation, the unique architectural know-how of which the Otammari is the heir is a basic family habitat in which everything is at once technical, utilitarian and symbolic. While many West African dwellings have strong symbolic dimensions, none has such a close interrelationship between symbolism, function and technique. This particular type of habitat, whose aesthetic is based on spectacular forms, is the result of the creative genius of the Batammariba. They use techniques related to the judicious use of bio-sourced materials and traditional know-how to build. There are several types of traditional architecture in West Africa, but none of them combines the aesthetic, symbolic and spiritual character of Otammari construction.
Composed of turrets assembled by a surrounding wall with a footprint of more or less 12m in diameter of the construction itself, the tata somba (takienta) have a fortress-like appearance. Often built in the country of a giant baobab or near a vegetation composed of trees, the tata somba habitat is built for defensive purposes and allowed to ensure the security of its residents. The symbols associated with the Otammari construction are, among others, the orientation of the door, the opposition between the ground floor and the upper floor, the male-female duality and the aesthetic features of this house.
On this house, everything is either adapted to a function, or a sign or a symbol. This architecture obeys rules of conception mixing profane and sacred. Nothing is random. These rules are always the same, but allow for adaptation and personalization. Thus, the size, the decoration, the number of rooms vary according to a certain number of parameters including the status and the characteristics of the inhabitants. Particular typologies are specific to certain clans or villages, but these always respect the main rules of design.
The façade of the house, where the entrance opening is located (about 60 cm), is always oriented towards the West, the side of happiness and the village-paradise of Kuiye (God), as opposed to the East, which embodies evil and from which comes the heavy rains and the harmattan of November. In addition, the plaster of the Tammari construction bears characteristic features that are comparable to the traditional scarifications found on the face of the batammariba of certain clans.
A symbolic division exists between the first floor where one finds: the mortar, the millstone, the kitchen, the cattle, the altar, the old man's room and the first floor where one finds: the attics, the terraces, the toilets, the bedrooms. Thus, the floor constitutes the place of the living while the first floor is that of the dead. The habitat thus shelters both the living and the ancestors, and must also be considered as a temple dedicated to worship. Most of the altars and all the magical protections are mainly on the first floor. Other altars related to Kuiyé (God) or to other deities are placed outside.
If you had to do it again?
Take the time to document the process and the different traditional techniques used
Building users opinion
The materials and the traditional know-how are the main factor of the comfort of life of this house.
- No heating system
- Other hot water system
- No domestic hot water system
- No cooling system
- Natural ventilation
- No renewable energy systems
- 50,00 year(s)
Life Cycle Analysis
Indoor Air quality
Health & Comfort
Finishing work / paints, mural, wallcoverings
Ecological binder used in the construction and rehabilitation of the Takienta. It is made from natural elements (clay, laterite, termite mound), cow dung and powder of the epicarp of néré.
It is a traditional technique that is passed on from generation to generation
Composed of turrets assembled by a surrounding wall with a footprint of more or less 12m in diameter of the construction itself, the tata somba (takienta) have a fortress-like appearance. Often built in the country of a giant baobab or near a vegetation composed of trees, the tata somba habitat is built for defensive purposes and allowed to ensure the security of its residents. The symbols associated with the Otammari construction include the orientation of the door, the opposition between the ground floor and the upper floor, the male-female duality and the aesthetic features of this dwelling.
Land plot area
Energy & Hot Climates
During the construction of the tata somba, the exclusive use of natural materials respectful of the environment, improving the comfort and the quality of the internal air of this dwelling. These eco materials also have a strong capacity of bio-climatization for an additional comfort to the construction Otammari. Thus by their capacity of inversion of temperature thanks to their multiple thermal and insulating properties, these eco materials (biosourced) bring a wellbeing as well when it is hot as when it is fresh. Thermal insulation is intended to be as efficient as possible (natural insulation, choice of innovative windows on walls, etc.).
Health & Comfort
Many materials used in the construction of a building can have an impact on the health of the inhabitants and workers. The risks are mainly carcinogenic, toxic or allergenic. Otammari architecture to limit the impacts choose the materials well and those according to several criteria: mix, depletion of resources, low energy consumption, local materials. Natural paints are less harmful than finishing materials such as usual paints, ditto for cow dung which is used instead of plaster and flooring.
The construction industry has a very negative effect on the environment. The materials used in modern construction projects have a major role to play in reducing this impact on our eco-system. And in the era of sustainable development and a desire to respect the environment, the biosourced seems to be a real solution. Respect for the environment, but also health and overall comfort in the home, are exactly what Otammari construction brings to these new ecological era. In addition, most of these natural materials also contribute to the development of the local and sustainable economy, as the products are often available locally without the need to import materials. This further reduces the impact of this construction on the environment.
Using bio-based materials in the construction of the takienta contributes significantly to the storage of atmospheric carbon and the preservation of natural resources. The main impact of these materials lies in their ability to reduce the carbon footprint which is very high in modern construction knowing that the manufacture of cement worldwide represents 5% of CO2 emissions. Takienta's building materials are made from inexhaustible and renewable natural resources; their manufacture does not generate any greenhouse gases or cause any damage to the environment. In addition to coming from the local environment, it does not consume conventional energy.