Chikanga Community Center (ZIM)
Social cohesion is crucial for emerging neighborhoods like Chikanga in Mutare, Zimbabwe. The community center will facilitate this in the form of a homework room with library and flexible to use event space. A municipal service desk ensures that residents no longer need to walk to the city center for their municipality issues.
The design incorporates local and global knowlegde. The result is a recognizable but progressive building. The roof design provides a sustainable and comfortable building without the use of building installations.
The design of Community Center is the result of a Dutch-Zimbabwean collaboration. The building is designed according to the (self-defined) weaverbird-concept. The weaverbird builds a wonderful nest out of commonly available grass. The nest is connected on a thin tree branch to keep predators out, the entrance is on the bottom to keep the nest dry during rain season. The result is a wonderful nest as the result of a very specific (user) demand, based on known materials and techniques. For the design of the Community Center we used this concept to design a unique building based on the synergy of common knowledge, building materials and a lot of engineering. The result is both low-budget and low-tech, still comfortable and experienced as futuristic.
built with passion
On top of the effect of the building in its functional- and iconic value for the development of Chikanga, is the long-term influence on the local architecture and building traditions. In the design and build process, the small team from the Netherlands focussed on the transfer of knowledge. The result is a passion-driven process from the local urban planners till the craftsmen who realized the building. The Community Center is a pilot; in its function, its architecture and its contribution to the local building industry.