Shimbwe Chini, Uru
July - September 2017
Jakob Raemaekers &
New home as worthy representation
Clara (54) is a women who faces many challenges in her life. This single women carries a lot of responsibility since she takes care of her mother who's disabled, her grandson and her daughter that is studying. Although she struggles with her own health her family is all depending on her to earn an income and take care of the household. Her positive attitude, strenght and sense for initiative keep her going. The living situation of the family is beyond poor as they live in an old house full of gaps and holes, and is thus not water- and windproof. Clara also cooks in the same space which results in a roof structure that is strongly affected by the smoke. Clara takes care of chicken and goats and she keeps a little business where she sells tomatoes and other vegetables. This family needs a new house with two rooms and decent sanitary. An environmental challenge for this area will be to avoid using new wood, which is restricted in the area of Shimbwe.
Clara lives together with her mother (Elisabeth), daughter (Rose) and two grandchildren (Vanessa, Emanuel) in one house. We tried to improve their social living standard by separating two generations under the same roof. We provided Rose and her two children their own front door allowing them to enjoy their own daily rhythm and privacy. This unit has a small open space and a desk where Rose can study now, and her children will in the future.
Clara and her mother share a room next to the main living room separated by a fabric. Both women suffer from health issues which cause them to stay in bed for long periods of time. The easily removable separation opens up the spacial experience during the day and makes it possible to be involved in the daily habits and social interactions in the living area. Both living units are separated by a removable closet which makes future adaptations possible. The house is foreseen of a large porch and a build-in bench allowing the family to sit together even when it's raining (and we have experienced quite a lot of rain already). This area also functions as the outdoor living room and a place where Clara can sell her vegetables, eggs and chickens.
The surrounding environment is made up of clara's son's house and a chicken coop encircled by a rough landscape covered with trees. The new building is placed in its context in the same way as the preexisting house. The outside spaces function in the same way as they did before. We tried to improve the circulation on site by shifting the structure slightly to the back. In this way a new passage toward the garden is created.