Building in African earth. Design of a multipurpose centre in Uganda

by Michele Verdi, Francesca Tafi from University of Florence, Italy
Tutored by: Roberto Bologna

Author comments:

This research begins with the collaboration between the two grad students and “Movimento Shalom”, a volunteer association active in third-world countries, included Uganda. The Shalom-sponsored project consists on the realization of a multipurpose centre in Mityana. The proposal is a juvenile-formation centre about collaboration and peace in Central Africa, including a hostel, a school, local micro-credit offices and others activities.
The main purpose of the complex is to provide job opportunity for Ugandan youth and supply economic self-sufficiency for the centre. The first step has been the collaboration with an Ugandan architect in order to define the hostel design, under construction since July, 2014.

Tutor comments:

The diploma project belongs to the "architecture of needs" field of research. This kind of architecture aims to fulfil basic needs of disadvantaged people, coping with the tightness of material and economical resources and advanced technological knowledge.
The work begins with the candidates' experience in Uganda, where they were involved in the design and realization of the first building, part of a bigger juvenile-formation centre about collaboration and peace for Central Africa, sponsored by laic-volunteer organization "Movimento Shalom" (Italy).
Through the direct analysis of each feature of the context (climate, social and economic environment, morphological and architectural features of traditional buildings) and the development of "Movimento Shalom" requirements, the students conceived a complex project from a general masterplan to the detailed design of two specific buildings.
The research was developed with earnestness and commitment, carrying out all the essential steps for a design that satisfies end-users needs and technological feasibility.

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