Minazi Social Housing
University of Rwanda, College of Science and Technology - Rwanda
Drawings, plans, elevations
Architecture is now focused on cities, monumental architecture, commercial buildings, office buildings…. it seems like the community is not a concern, we are not caring on our civic life at the extent rain is destroying our homes and kills our parents, kid….. Minazi sector has experienced the same issue. As an intention, we wanted to design a settlement that will stand strong against natural disasters using locally available materials, simple technics that involves the community. We took a sloped portion of the given site, to guide the community how they can work with the sloped landforms. Fractals as guiding concept were chosen to be used since in everything from braided hairstyle to the design of housing settlement, Fractals permeate African culture as Ron Eglash. We took this opportunity to strongly give identity to the settlement. By extracting fractals from traditional patterns imigongo, we came up with a geometrical set of rhombuses at different scales: settlement, group of houses to a single house. The shape allowed us to create a zigzag street that runs diagonal to the direction of the topography not only to minimize the inclination of the streets but also the velocity of water as the draining ditches runs along the street. The shape were preferred as a solution of landslide since street separate the site into two physical zones one for housing, the other for farming (to meet the national policy of land use consolidation and to meet the request of the community in community workshop of living nearby their farmlands). The main intention of zoning strategy is to provide a system by which domestic used water (Gray water) will be filtrated using filtration ponds and be used for irrigation. The built space consist of pathways that separate linear grouped houses that becomes hexagonal shared access point at the main entrance of each of 4 units and 4 bigger hexagonal playing area for kids as it is a culture for African kids to play around streets. The housing units are arranged four houses in one huge rhombus pixelated into four plots, the system enhance interaction between four families since it creates hexagonal shared spaces that serves like conversation outdoor lounge under the tree at one side, and shared laundry at the other side (to minimize the amount of water tanks used and drainage facilities) Each plot has a house of (3bed rooms, 2bed rooms or 2bed rooms and expansion space) and an outdoor open space reserved for kitchen garden and domestic animals (cow, goat etc…) As 80% of African daytime is spent in outdoor (mostly in the backyard we have created semi open space screened with reeds to serve as a daytime multipurpose space that can even serve as a dining area. The design did not only emphasized on spaces but also on furniture by using traditional technics such as weaving to create needed tools at home to modernize the life of the users. Using composting toilets and solar panels we have suggested sustainable life for the community.