Vote for this project
My Vote
Thank you for voting, you may vote again tomorrow
Amani Library
In Tanzania, as in many other African countries, stereotypes about earth as a building material and its association to homes of poor people still persist. The traditional construction model adapted to the environment has been replaced by the concrete block as an alternative and “modern” material, but that nevertheless raises the cost of construction and therefore increases poverty of the population. Amani library showcases the potential of good planning and design, from the arrangement of the building on the site to the realization of aspects in detail. Based on local material resources, Amani Library is small-scale, technologically and organizationally simple, and inexpensive. Furthermore it demonstrates the possibilities of building with earth using simple methods as the continuation of a local rural building tradition and can serve as an example for future building developments in the area. The project is mainly constructed from the use of two materials; soil excavated from the site and locally collected wood. On site production offered the possibility to employ local material, and the same excavated soil for the wall construction. The perimeter of the library is realized as load-bearing walls using a technique called rammed earth. Apart from its structural capacity, earth regulates indoor humidity and temperature, saves energy and reduces environmental pollution, is re-usable and saves expenses in material and transportation. Local handcraft can be found, among others, on the cypress doors and the bamboo enclosure at the verandah, as a way of promoting and strengthening the participation of local craftsmen, as well as raising awareness to the value of cultural heritage. The construction of Amani Library was carried out between July and October 2016 through a workshop with both Kibaoni inhabitants and international participants, regarded as a learning experience through an immersive, collaborative design build project. The project is therefore conceived as a “training site” where every participant gets involved in the design and building, sharing technical and theoretical knowledge and allow cross-cultural communication and understanding. The idea is to create links and exchanges between architects, international participants, professionals of the construction, village craftsmen, school workers, children, etc. The approach carries a developmental character, acting as “seed”, as it seeks to form a knowledge base, which can contribute to the potential return of traditional materials and techniques in solving the problem of low-cost housing in rural environments In a project of this size, with a short timeframe of four months, logistics present itself as one of the major challenges. Basic and pragmatic approach to design made it possible to realize this project with an untrained but motivated workforce. The building techniques were implemented and successfully developed on the job through a collaborative team work between Tanzania and Europe.
3 word address features
sustainability, earth, participative
View all entries