Architecture as a stepping stone
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.
The village of Mikocheni is comprised of a selection of spread out houses and huts. Roads wind between the buildings like open rivers of dirt. This project was designed to situate itself within the landscape.
The new structure was positioned alongside pre-existing buildings, to form a semi-enclosed courtyard. This offers the family some relief from the constant wind, a result of the open plain surroundings. The hot, arid climate produces huge amounts of thick dust. This is certainly a challenging environment in which to build a durable, sustainable home. Our Groundwork team tackled these difficulties head on; by constructing a stone wall, to encase the more vulnerable adobe interior; shielding it from the strong winds and rain. To offer even further reinforcement, the structure was secured top and bottom with a double- roof structure and a solid foundation. These features simultaneously act as regulators for the internal climate.
July - September 2017
Floris Akkermans & Peter