1ST: MICHAEL HOBBS
DESIGN INTENT: THE PROBLEMS
1. The death of a parent from HIV/AIDS accounts for 70% of Zimbabwe’s estimated 1.2 million orphans. The majority of these orphans live with their extended families in their communities, and most transition easily into adulthood within the context of their communities. This is not so for those orphans placed in institutions in urban/semi-urban contexts. At the age of 18, these vulnerable young people find themselves in a society with a very unforgiving socio-economic climate. Most of these young people join the ranks of the unemployed.
The unemployment rate in Zimbabwe is currently 94%. Statistics show that in order to survive, within 3 months most of the young men and women resort to prostitution, begging and theft. These young people face particular hardships and very rarely are they able to escape the cycle of poverty.
2. Many Zimbabweans earn their living from trading at informal markets around Harare, however, the incredibly steep price to rent a stall space makes it near impossible for the system to remain profitable without people being driven to corruption and illegal activities.
In the Avondale Flea Market, one of the most established informal markets, it costs $10/day for a 1m x 2m stand, and $30/day on Saturdays, and there are no public toilets, cooking & eating facilities or secure storage for the stall owners. With around 200 stall operators and many more customers, that is appalling.
Architecture cannot change this world in its own right, but it can inject life into a community. I believe that Zimbabweans need to begin to tackle these huge issues affecting the country, and thus, the scale of this project is rather large, contrary to the typical scale of a home. My interpretation of “LIVING TOMORROW” has everything to do with community integration, and this project is design around the idea that with better infrastructure and design the Harare community will be able to thrive once again.
By strengthening a community could we positively change the way we shall live tomorrow?
The New Avondale Market has been designed to facilitate not only the growing number of traders but also learning centres, workshops, all focused on equipping 18 year old orphans with the necessary craft skills to be able to make a living. The produce sold in the marketplace is manufactured in the workshops, and the already skilled traders will get a reduced rental fee for teaching their skills to the youngsters in the community. The design also provides small living units for the craftsmen and students of the skills centre, and attempts to better their idea of home through empowering the community around them.
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2ND: TINOTENDA NCUBE
C o n t i n u i t y
To encourage further development of the natural environment thus the existing ecosystems by introducing a Lemur to protect the enviroment, instead of hiring a person to watch out for those who practice
unsustainable use of natural resources at the same time promoting environmental degradation.
Inspiration & Form Development
A Cacoon as a Habitat
The Cacoon is employed as both a symbolic and generative force within the design. Ultimately the Cacoon represents new life,bringing hope for the revitalization of the mistreated land.
Locally people are environmentally unaware of how useful the environment around us is, I see this ignorance as problematic and a force driving, developing and encouraging a bad habit within the community and society at large. People practice socio-economic activities such as basket weaving and digging out river sand from the river banks which has resulted in the river going dry.
My proposal is for a system, not a static architecture that allows for a constant evolution of the character of the spaces in and out of the environmental centre. This is to be archived by the use of materials (Rusting steel for green walls) which narrate the life time of both the building aesthetics as well as creating habitats for the birds, integrating the form with the already existing environment.
The main thesis revolves around creating habitats for the mistreated creatures (Birds) in the existing ecosystems, therefore, landscape will incorporate a habitat, more like a zoo for the Lemur, an African animal (adventure trails-eco tourism). By in cooperating this zoo will give the local people a reason to visit the warren hills environmental centre. (Bird watching -bird farming).
The form of the building allows birds to fly towards a concentrated point by the use of curves, this minimizes their extermination since normal building forms block their natural paths.
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3RD: MARVIN SINDISO NCUBE
The design is based on sustainable living with elements ensuring that the impact to the environment and the running cost are kept low. The floor plan is split into two and the swimming pool moved upstairs to reduce the building footprint on the ground by 57% keeping the site as natural as possible. To reduce energy use, energy efficient devices, solar water heaters and lights and L.E.D. lights are used.
Solar tiles are used on the roof taking advantage of Zimbabwe’s sunny days. These only require daylight not direct sunshine thus can generate electricity even on the cloudiest of days. Large triple glazed sealed windows on ground allow the living spaces to be naturally lit and ventilated. The building is finished with materials that do not release or contain volatile organic compounds. The finishes are light coloured to allow the reflection of light further into the internal spaces. This combined with thermal mass of the wall and concrete floor eliminate the need for artificial heating systems. Renewable sources are used for the building materials for example, certified wood taken from responsibly managed forests and materials, components, and systems found locally or regionally saving energy and resources in transportation to the project site.
Environmental Influences and Solutions
Vertical gardens and planters are used to be able to add more spaces covered by nature. Storm water and grey water are filtered and reused for irrigation.
The site is configured to allow the users space to live work and play freely. Large openings and double volume spaces allow interaction with one another from most spaces. The acrylic pool and deck allows visual interaction between the two levels.
Energy and Water efficiency
Material choice promotes improved health