This Chagga family in Mamsera, consisting of a widow and her 5 children, were living on a piece of land owned by the deceased father’s family. The family mentioned that they can live in the house, but that when the father´s family comes to Mamsera to visit they can claim one or two rooms for his family. The mother communicated to us that she always has the fear of having to leave the house. For this reason she cannot feel home or as she said: “it is not my place”.
New house for a big family in a big community
Structure - Creative with Light
June - August 2013
Yannick Beauclercq & Kjell Keymolen
The students wanted to reflect the large and dynamic family into the design of the house. They proposed a square foundation covered with a gable roof. The square could be divided into four smaller squares.Since the budget was limited, they decided to fill in two squares as rooms, but only with a minimal usage of brick walls.
The wooden walls used in the original house to build the living room were the property of the mother, and she insisted that they be used for the new house. As a result, the students designed two rooms using bricks and the recycled wood. The bricks on both sides of the facade stick out, so it will be possible to extend the bricks and construct more rooms in the future. With the leftover wood, the students made wooden shelves using the bricks that were sticking out and the structure of the roof to support them. In the design of the new house, the students decided not to build a window, but to find an alternative way to make sure the room had enough natural light and ventilation. The other part of the roofed area would remain open so that it could be used as porch to host people in a possible future business.
One year after the project the house is intensively used by the mother and her daughter. The porch serves as a little bar. Several different projects from the family´s initiative have arisen. The old house is being renovated, the kitchen is transformed into a room for one of the older boys and a new chicken coop is built.