Mousgoum dwellings
Pouss, Cameroon
Written by:
follow
share on:mail linkcopy link to clipboardShare via LinkedInShare via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via Facebook
Mud houses developed with regards to the local climate.

image: Carsten ten Brink | CC-BY-NC-ND_black.png some rights reserved
i
Category:
housing
Phase:
in use
Updated:
18 November 2019
introduction

For the past three centuries the Mousgoum have made their home in the flood plains that straddle the border between northern Cameroon and Chad. The Mousgoum and their celebrated house, referred to in Munjuk as tolek (pl. tolekakay) and are referred to in French as ‘cases obus’ (granate houses), (1) have been known in the West since at least the 1850s, when the German explorer Heinrich Barth journeyed to north and central Africa.

read more >
< read less
cultural and social context

Traditionally, the Mousgoum homes have a vernacular design in which the husbands unit is centrally located in the dome and the wives’ occupy units around the husbands’. This architectural form is the result of the aims and desire of the unified group (Source: Obot, 2007). The tolekakay are grouped in a circle which can consists of up to fifteen huts. A branch wall around the huts indicates that these houses all belong to one family. Not all huts do have the same size, Traditionally the bigger huts were used for livestock. The place between the huts had a defined zoned purposes, such as a zone for cattle, a playground zone and a zone meant for family councils.

materials and building techniques

The Mousgoum buildings are an example of cob buildings and feature geometrical raised patterns. The architecture of Mousgoum houses follow the shape of a shell. The doorway is heavenly framed and really marks the entrance. The construction of Mousgoum houses is very solid, even though they have no foundation. Thicker walls at the base and thinner walls at the top of the construction enhance its strength. The top of the houses have an opening to allow for air circulation. The structure is highly textured, which allows for individualization of the surface. Moreover these veins also have a drainage function. The Mousgoum structures require frequent maintenance of the coating, here the veins help the people to climb on top of the house. Traditionally, women were in charge of the maintenance of the huts

read more >
< read less
earth and climate

The thick mud walls make the surface less penetrative for the heat. The use of thick clay walls do not only keeps the house cool it also releases low CO2 levels.

image gallery
technical drawings
A schematic plan of a dwelling cluster.

image: copyright unknown
i
Location
show earth plate boundarieshide earth plate boundaries
Explore more inspirations
Keyword:
local resources (88)
vernacular (35)
earth (61)
community (101)
prev
  •  meeting place
    Sidi Amor’s eco-village for arts and crafts
    Ariana, Tunisia
  •  work & business
    Bamboo factory Bali
    Bali, Indonesia
  •  education
    Tongo school
    Tongo, Mali
  •  housing
    cappadocia cave dwellings
    cappadocia, Turkey
  •  health & sanitation
    Butaro hospital
    Burera, Rwanda
  •  meeting place
    Villanueva Public Library
    Villanueva, Colombia
  •  housing
    Entre Muros House
    Tumbaco, Quito, Ecuador
  •  education
    Pani community centre
    Rajarhat, Bangladesh
  •  meeting place
    Liyuan Library
    Jiao jie he (交界河村), China
  •  recreation & sport
    Geometric Hot Springs
    Villarica National Park, Chile
  •  emergency shelter
    Low-cost modular housing scheme
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  •  health & sanitation
    Salam Center for Cardiac Surgery
    Soba, Sudan
  •  housing
    Bahia house
    Salvador, Brazil
  •  housing
    E.V.A. Self build eco-village
    Pescomaggiore, Italy
  •  infrastructure
    Community Bamboo Footbridge
    Davao City, Philippines
  •  meeting place
    Esperanza
    El Cabuyal, Ecuador
  •  housing
    Palmyra house
    Nandgaon, India
  •  recreation & sport
    Takasugi-an
    Chino, Japan
  •  education
    Maosi primary school
    Maosi, China
  •  emergency shelter
    Reed house
    Lake Titicaca, Peru
  •  education
    Thon Mun Community Centre
    Takeo, Cambodia
  •  emergency shelter
    Soe Ker Tie House
    Ban Tha Song Yang, Thailand
  •  health & sanitation
    Safe Haven Bathhouse
    Ban Tha Song Yang, Thailand
  •  housing
    Turf houses
    Keldur, Iceland
  •  housing
    Homemade mud house
    Dinajpur, Bangladesh
  •  housing
    Río Cedro House
    Río Cedro, Colombia
  •  emergency shelter
    Bamboo Dome Structure
    Ramsar, Iran
  •  meeting place
    wNw Bar
    thu dau mot, Vietnam
  •  emergency shelter
    Living Tebogo
    Johannesburg, South Africa
  •  education
    Gando Primary School
    Gando, Burkina Faso
  •  meeting place
    R-Urban
    Colombes, France
  •  emergency shelter
    Pallet Garage
    Indianapolis, U.S.A.
  •  housing
    "After the rain comes..."
    Msitu wa Tembo, Tanzania
  •  education
    Community School in N'Tyeani
    N'tyeani, Mali
  •  housing
    Juan Hippolito House
    San Pedro Apostol, Mexico
  •  emergency shelter
    Temporary Dormitories for Mae Tao Clinic
    Mae Sot, Thailand
  •  religion & memorial
    Wenzai True Jesus Church-Our Pray Room
    Changhua, Taiwan
  •  housing
    Le Village Noir
    Gatlang, Nepal
  •  meeting place
    Palomino, Building a Society.
    Palomino, Colombia
  •  recreation & sport
    Cerro Mirador
    San Carlos, Venezuela
  •  education
    Adharshila School Extension Project
    Agara Village, Sheopur District, Madhya Pradesh, India
  •  housing
    Ciudadelas de Paz - Building for Peace
    Manaure, Cesar, Colombia
  •  education
    Ali Apple Elementary School
    Ali, China
  • play
     work & business
    Eco-brick goes MUD!
    Arusha, Tanzania
  •  housing
    A Casa de Abuela Cuentacuentos
    Escobilla, Mexico
  •  education
    Kusikuna Eco-Active School
    Apote - Tiquipaya, Bolivia
  •  recreation & sport
    sport clubhouse Kalobeyei, Kenya
    Kalobeyei, Kenya
  •  education
    P'Yan School Project
    Mae Sot, Thailand
  • finalist 2016
     education
    ModSkool
    New Delhi, India
  •  education
    Bamboo Kindergarten
    Tasikmalaya, Indonesia
  •  meeting place
    Kazi na Bobo - community shop built with plastic bottles
    Msitu wa Tembo, Tanzania
  •  housing
    Naust paa Aure
    Aure, Norway
  •  housing
    Post-Tsunami Rehabilitation
    Kirinda, Sri Lanka
  •  education
    LA VIEJA
    Montebello, Cali, Colombia
  •  meeting place
    Jabu Centre
    Siteki, Swaziland
  •  housing
    Kampung Kali Chode, Yogyakarta
    Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  •  meeting place
    CICADA
    Taipei, Taiwan
  •  housing
    Open Source House Pilot
    Cape Coast, Ghana
  •  housing
    Batak Toba Houses
    Lake Toba, Indonesia
  •  education
    Bamboo Alternative School
    Bogor, Indonesia
  •  education
    Children's Centre XEWA SOWE
    Village of Sowé (Glazoué), Benin
  •  housing
    CASA RANA
    Tamil Nadu, India
  •  education
    Trade School in Guatemala
    Cerro la Granadilla (San Raimundo), Guatemala
  •  meeting place
    Palomino Border
    Palomino, Guajira, Colombia
  •  housing
    BAMBÚ SOCIAL
    El Rama, Nicaragua
  •  emergency shelter
    SBAM.it 2011
    Massarosa-Stiava (LU), Italy
  •  education
    Njoro Children's Library
    Mailisita, Kilimanjaro , Tanzania
  • play
     health & sanitation
    Kamuna agricultural rehabilitation centre
    Kamuna, Cankuzo, Burundi
  •  education
    Transforming Learning Spaces in Rwanda
    Muhanga, Rwanda
  • play
     meeting place
    Sunzu Village Community Center
    Burera, Rwanda
  •  infrastructure
    Bamboo Bridge in Solo
    Solo, Indonesia
  •  housing
    Rural Housing Development Program
    Chitrawad, Gujarat, India
  •  recreation & sport
    Sport City
    Oaxaca de Juárez, Mexico
  • play
     meeting place
    StadtGoesFuture-Culthäusle
    Filderstadt-Plattenhardt, Germany
  •  meeting place
    Community Center in Jatimulyo
    Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • finalist 2021
     education
    A School Built By the People, For The People
    Jorhat, India
  •  work & business
    Sembalun Bamboo Youth Development Centre
    Lombok, Indonesia
  •  meeting place
    Iche_Food for thought: a hub for glocal innovation
    San Vicente, Ecuador
  •  housing
    House of Plenty
    Nijmegen, Netherlands
  •  education
    Training Center for Mae Tao Clinic
    Mae Sot, Thailand
  •  meeting place
    Tusen Restaurante
    Ramundberget, Sweden
  • finalist 2021
     agriculture & fisheries
    Cocina CoLaboratorio
    Ejido Loma Bonita, Mexico
  •  education
    Bamboo Panyaden School
    Chiang Mai, Thailand
  •  meeting place
    Farmers' Innovation Center (BLF)
    Angangba (Nagaland), India
  •  health & sanitation
    Hygiene Station for Cattlefield Village School
    Yunnan, China
  •  urban planning
    The Self-made Dwelling
    Dharavi, India
  •  education
    Ithuba Community College
    Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, South Africa
  •  infrastructure
    Taxi Rank
    Magagula Heights, Katlehong, South Africa
next