Space becomes home
This project is located in Mikocheni, a dry, semi-arid village to the south of Moshi. Here, Margaret, a sixty four year old single grandmother, lives with her daughter and three grandchildren. Margaret’s daughter suffers from significant health issues, with requires her mother to assume the role of primary caregiver for her grandchildren. In addition, Margaret is responsible for financially supporting her family, with the little resources she has.
Their current living conditions are in rapid decline. Due to the salinity in the ground, paired with strong winds and relentless sun, the mud based structure is steadily deteriorating. This causes the home to be structurally unsound, meaning that standards of hygiene and sanitation are compromised.
Our team must think of a creative solution, to overcome this challenging building environment.
Margaret’s family requested a new home, complete with three bedrooms, a small living room and new toilet facility. The groundwork team opted to complete this structure using mawe stones, and rammed earth; due to their ecological benefits. The intention was to introduce and popularise these techniques within the village.
The mix was made with a combination of locally sourced soil, in addition to sand and cement. Due to the high salt content in the soil, the team first laid a 40cm high base of mawe stones, to protect the rammed earth walls positioned on top. These stones were also used to connect the walls, to provide aesthetic continuity. Large windows were installed to offer good lighting and ventilation. The roof was fashioned from ‘bati’ (corrugated roofing sheets), which were designed with a 1 metre protrusion from the main structure. This ensures that the house is surrounded by shade during the day, and the walls are properly protected from heavy winds and rain.
Security, Rammed Earth
July - September 2017
Femke Verheyen & Nabil Abdallah