The Kibugambata Community Village
Makerere University Kampala - Uganda
Drawings, plans, elevations
Informal settlements have become a significant part of most urban regions in developing countries with almost a sixth of the world population living in slums across the globe. It is estimated by the United Nations Human Settlements Program that this figure will double by 2030. However, not much has been done in the field of architecture and planning in Uganda and Africa as a whole, to better understand and prepare for this reality that is to come. The Kibugambata Community Village is a slum upgrading project, developed for the Kibugambata informal settlement in the Masese region of Jinja, Uganda. The concept for this project focuses on the creation of ‘hot spots’ as the main supporting structure of the community.Hot spots, in this case, are defined as people and activity points, or, places with a high level of activity and hence people are drawn to them. Inspired by the site, this concept is rooted in how people relate on the site, how they create these 'hot-spots' through what they do and how they live for example, the verandahs where activities such as cooking, washing and conversing with neighbors happen, are a type of hot spot at the scale of a house. The incremental housing approach was chosen for this project model because this is the reality in informal settlements. The gist of it however, is the incorporation of the hot spot concept into the incremental housing model, such that at each stage of growth, there is an addition of a hot spot onto the house, Therefore, the starter core in this case, begins with a one roomed house, a sanitary unit (toilet and bath) and a verandah which acts as an outside cooking area and is a hot spot at this scale. The house can then increase to incorporate a room and a shop (hot spot) and further extend to include a rental and verandah for laundry purposes. (Hot spot). The hot spot concept also determines how houses are organized around each other. The orientation and placement of hot spots on one house determines the orientation of the neighbor’s house and hence fosters the creation of hot-spots at the neighborhood scale and therefore, a cluster of homes is primarily organized around a system of hot-spots. At the housing cluster level, the hot spot is a common house, which is designed as a home with a food kiosk or bar, where community members can converge. The common house fronts the courtyard around which the cluster is organized. The hot spot at the Master plan scale is the Kibugambata Community Center, a bamboo pavilion, with an accompanying open public space . It is designed to be a flexible space that adapts to different community needs. This is made possible by the use of custom designed, movable laminated ply boards, old tyres and wooden crates that can be used by community members to create different spaces over the open floor plan and outdoor public area.