A typological analysis of public apartment buildings in Ghana

S. Agyefi-Mensah, J. Post, E.E.L.C. van Egmond, E. Badu, M. Mohammadi

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Typological studies are considered useful because they help trace and understand the changes in building characteristics from the past to the present. This knowledge serves as a basis for improvement and change in future designs. In Ghana, although different designs have been applied to public apartments since independence, it is not known what their typologies are in generic forms. This makes it difficult to raise research questions for post-occupancy evaluation and to formulate and test research hypothesis with respect to the relation between design attributes and use requirements. This study analyzes and presents a typological view of the public apartment buildings in Ghana synchronically using designs over the past five decades. A reductionist approach to data analysis, qualitative in nature, is used to describe the plan form characteristics of the designs, using the form of access – vertical and horizontal – as the criteria. The study found 11 mutually exclusive design typologies, the most dominant of which is the single central staircase with lobby access. The study builds on existing knowledge and contributes to knowledge and understanding with respect to the typo-morphological characteristics of public apartment buildings in Ghana.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-389
Number of pages14
JournalArchitectural Engineering and Design Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2015


  • design solution
  • Ghana
  • plan form
  • public apartments
  • typology


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