Drawings, plans, elevations
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The story of Anwa was shaped by the passion, commitment, and resourcefulness of community members who believed in a better future for their children. The community school was started by a group of mothers in Kibera who begun with just a handful of students and a rented room. Over time the school grew in attendance and community presence housed in a 2-story ramshackle building made of mismatched wood, rusted sheet metal, cardboard, and sandbags. Schools like Anwa are critical to the community, bridging the barrier of inadequate educational infrastructure and access to quality education which continues to be a challenge for the majority of the urban poor. The project has developed through a participatory design and construction process that merges local experience with the architectural craft of design and making. The school community participated in programming and building the structure which were constructed within principles of green design and sustainability. The main building structures are a model for context based design including sustainability sourced and certified timber framing, wattle and daub mud-walls on the ground floor with mabati (steel) sheeting on the first floor; referencing traditional Kibera techniques, while reflecting the history of the school, and the local identity of the settlement. The design and construction process also explored a return to the master builder traditions of architecture through a design-build model which also incorporated community construction training and mentorship. The doors and windows were built by youth trainees from Kibera (from sustainably sourced bamboo and timber) while all construction utilized local materials, techniques and labor, to ensure that building methods and techniques were transferable to the local community. Anwa explores the role of architecture as a tool for socio-economic development and community cohesion. Every aspect of design and construction has a community perspective, functioning to benefit the people who use the school and the broader community within which it is situated. KDI calls this typology a Productive Public Learning Space, an economically and socially productive space where students and the community can gather and learn. In principle, a Productive Public Learning Space meets the following objectives: 1. Transforms an environmental liability into a quality space for learning 2. Is authored and operated by its end-users collaborating with outside groups 3. Integrates income-generating and socially empowering uses 4. Adds value to a space without alienating the original community 5. Meets expressed community priorities and links to larger improvement efforts 6. Uses strong design concepts to create beautiful places
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