An architect in a foreign culture project // Integration of the architect in the project and site //Integration of the proj-
ect in its culture and ecosystem // Integration of experience with all the senses to perceive space
Naeem Searle & Birgitte Juliussen Haug
The course “Architect in a foreign culture” this semester was focusing on Mozambique. In the beginning of the course the 19 students and three teachers travelled for five
weeks to South Africa, the Mozambiquan capital, Maupto and finally the Mozambiquan countryside - the village of Chimundo to be exact. The goal of the journey was to
investigate whats related to environment, globalization and cultural exchange.
Through analysis and discussions with the aid organization AID Global, politicians, local architects and the local community we saw a clear need for a architectonic
addition. During 12 intense days, with limited funds, in cooperation with locals, we built a small school. We made use of local tecniques for lieing bricks and tieing straw
walls, and used local materials in a new way. Rize bags filled with sand on the Northern wall, bottles built into the wall on the South side to let in light - these were some of
the things we did to meet the climatic challenges. The small building consists of one open and one closed room. The open room has flexible light walls of straw, the closed
room has massive walls of sand and concrete. A cistern gathers the water from off the corregated steel roof.
Back in Norway we presented the project at various firm for a fee, had a charity party and we went to the Copenhagen climate meeting to exibit it. The money we gathered
will go to the further development of Irmã Catarinas project in Chimundo.
Building the school in Chimundo
o 6 km
Developing modern neighbourhood
Chimundo aprox. 4000 inhab.
In between spaces
Activity in play of light shadow and rhythm of space
The home - a home for whom?
Nursery Young entrepreneurs Foreign
Sibling Sibling The whole back Local kids
Childrens home Water and food Learning
Nursery Sibling groups Workshops Theory
Wood Shoes English Computers Small school
When you are and orphan you do not have the Scale and identity
security, love and comfort of your own family.
In Sierra Leone, where after the civil war that
ended in 2002 50% of the population was
younger than 15 years old, the children orga-
nized to take care of eachother.
At a childrens home the orphans can be orga-
nized in “sibling groups”, where children of
different ages learn to take care and responsi-
bility of eachother. Mixed or gender divided
groups. Actual siblings are kept together in the
Active land Add-on possibilities 1 Irmãs house + kids library
2 Living quarters (q.)
3 Living q. babies
4 Kindergarden + kitchen
20 5 Bath for childrens home
16 19 6 Living q.
18 7 Living q. + small kitchen
8 Erics house + kids living q.
15 14 17 9 Extended new kitchen
10 Pavillion for 150 eaters
12 13 11 Animals ground
12 Dirt toilets
13-20 School and worshops
10 21 Administration/volunteers
11 21 22 Fields for food
defining active space Shadow is valuable
New potential movement
In the flat landscape with excessive sunlight of Chimundo vertical elements that offer shadow and the spaces between them define different social and active are-
nas. To exploit the terrain we work with densification and zoning.
Longsection 1:1000 62
Investigating local materials
Translucent, but not enterely
Bottlebricks transparent. Makes small
shelves in the walls. Play of
Translúcido, mas não to-
talmente transparente. Faz
pequenas prateleiras as
paredes. Jogo de luz.
Ventiladores Lets light and air through.
Play of light. Needs textile
on inside to prevent sand to
enter with the wind.
Deixa a luz e o ar entrar.
Jogo de luz. Necessidades
de têxteis no interior para
evitar que a areia entra com
Lets air and light through.
Straw and Play of light. Natural qualities
bamboo - softness, sensuality, trans-
formation over time.
Deixa a luz e o ar entrar. Jogo
de luz. Qualidades naturais,
como maciez, a sensu-
alidade, a transformação ao
longo do tempo.
Solids: Storing of temperature. Adds
weight and rhythm in space.
Combinations Massive. Contrast to light-
of bricks, ness/translucent.
sandbags and //
rammed earth Armazenamento de tem-
peratura. Aumenta o peso
eo ritmo no espaço. Denso.
Contraste com a leveza /
Light/temporary: Lightness. Temporality is flex-
Ricebangs, ibility. The story of time and
strawmats, wear. Potentials in what we
mosquito net //
Leveza. Temporalidade é a
flexibilidade. A história do
tempo e do desgaste. Poten-
ciais em que nós temos.
Materials and costs of typical walltypes
Caniso 14,6 mtk/sqr meter Considering that you have to change the caniso
(straw) every 2-3 years gives the following costs:
10 years - 58 mtk/sqr meter
20 years - 116 mth/sqr meter
30 years - 174 mth/sqr meter
40 years - 232 mth/sqr meter
50 years - 290 mth/sqr meter
Bricks x 10 cm - 120 mtk/sqr meter Bricks and ventiladores still need concrete, which is
x 15 cm - 140 mtk/sqr meter not in the calculation. Also these kinds of walls will
x 20 cm - 180 mtk/sqr meter need repair now and then.
Caniso is still a cheaper material for atleast 20 years,
not considering the work to rise either walls.
Replacement of caniso can be a good trade for the
older kids at the childrens home to learn.
Ventiladores 280 mtk/sqr meter
A d o b e b r i c k s material inspiration Simple mud test on site
Dry Correct Wet
Moving levels Ilha de Moçambique
Lime stone mortar protects and give the house a clear identity
Stone + light
Adobe bricks Marocco
Taipa (rammed earth)
Adobe (mud brick building)
Hand made bricks with simple tools can yeild up to 200 bricks per day, Machine made produce 3000 per day.
Tabique (wattle + daub) (taipa defasqui)
Printing textures/dark matter/light on fine paper
Every night the chicken jump in the mangotrees...
Can the elder children find safety and independence equally?
...to be safe from predators in the night. One unit for four kids in two bunkbeds.
Too big and too small cannot enter.
New shadow & fruit trees,
e.g. a mango.
for shadow, cleansing of soil
for fruit and cleansing of soil
mostly for privacy and sound
External flow Social zones Social zones Inner cross Plan 1:250
roof ground section 5m 77