tutor | joy kanaan
BUILDING FOR A BETTER LIFE PARTICIPATORY
The studio will take part in the international competition “Children’s House”, based in Senegal’s Tanaff Valley’s Baghere Village. It is sponsored by Kaira Looro NGO, aiming to better the living conditions and fight malnutrition focusing on children below the age of 5.
Given the harsh environmental conditions such as drought, desertification and salinization due to climatic changes, the competition called for the design of a structure seen as a safe haven for young children and their mothers, where basic nutritional and rearing needs are met.
Although the competition requires the design of a 250 sqm free-standing, single level structure, with basic construction methods and relying mainly on local vernacular materials, the studio mandated a more expansive program addressing the community’s needs. Students were invited to investigate the current social, cultural and environmental conditions and create a suitable proposal of several structures within the same plot, in which sits at its heart the Children’s House. A full development of the intervention was required, including organization, usage, structure, methods and materials of construction. Students then prepared the pertinent material, specific to the Children’s House, as required for the competition submittal.
During the first phase, students immersed themselves into the village’s culture, traditions, agricultural possibilities, as well as setting. In groups of two, they proposed a masterplan that included several units keeping in mind the community’s needs and challenges. All proposals included a cultural component as well as a market and the Children’s House within a total built up are not exceeding 1,500 sqm. The use of vernacular materials, as well as local techniques for construction were essential and responded to the general call of participatory construction where local men and woman could engage in the construction process of the project.