Living… than just dwelling
University of Rwanda - Rwanda
Drawings, plans, elevations
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Living…..than just dwelling, a design concept that highlight social people’s life in village.
We believe that architecture is a tool to address problems within different societies. Here in Rwanda even if we happily call our country, a country of thousand hills, our biggest problem lies in disasters that are caused by those hills. Landslides that damages homes, agriculture fields.
Minazi sector experienced that, and as result 34 peoples were dead and 64 families were displaced with their farms destroyed.
So what happen to someone who has lost everything? How can we use architecture to bring hope to those people?
What type of architecture could address this problem that we have in our society?
With this project we intended to design a settlement that can withstand those natural disasters using local materials, improved local techniques and show them how to use water that usually destroy their homes to address different daily functions.
We have gone to Minazi where we interacted with those families. The goal was to hear what they want in order to involve their thoughts in the design process . They had this feeling that they would like to have the happy life they had before the disaster.
We did a research of how rural community live in Rwanda and we did a site analysis which led us to a fragmentation concept with 3 ideas:
It helped us to create different zones according to the slope of the site. And according to how much risky they are, we attributed different functions.
This is our main idea that we took from the research of Rwandan people’s lives. So the fragmentation comes from the main road, we fragmented it to create common spaces that is very useful in Rwandan community.
The idea helped us to group people so that infrastructures would get to people easily.
Through iteration, we designed a project that use those concept ideas to help increase the quality of peoples ‘lives. This was mainly addressed when we were doing the units design that had to suit everyone from old people to growing families.
Using courtyards, we wanted to highlight the backyard which is the most important area for Rwandan people. Using courtyard as the driving idea, we had 3 typology of house that had to suit everyone according to his working activity and according to his age.
One of them had a way to expand so that the house could adapt to the needs of their households. This gives the possibility to people to have different way of living in their house, the possibility to own their houses.
We ended with construction details that were crucial if we wanted to build safely in that risky zone.
In those details we emphasized on showing how people collect rain water so that instead of water destroying their houses, rain water could be used by them in their daily activities.
Hence, dwelling is not enough to live it requires design features for the good health of users.
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