Magamba road, Mutare(ZIM)
Mutare is the fourth largest city in Zimbabwe, situated between mountains. With explosive population growth the city is expanding uncontrollably towards the mountain ridges. The introduction of new housing typologies with higher density and higher quality provides an answer to this. The new plan is a sequel to the succesful Hobhouse project, where 250 families built their a healthier living environment with a little guidance of the Haarlem Mutare Housing trust.
The urban plan has been completed and includes 80 self-build housing, a series of terraced houses, an apartment building and a community center. The new area is characterized by experimental housing based on Zimbabwean (building) culture. The 'do it yourself' aspect provides strong affinity between people and the built environment.
concept: 'The weaver bird'
The weaver bird is a unique bird that gets itsname from his wonderful home. The bird has (like many others) a nest of grass. However, by interwoven into a cocoon, hanging on a thin branch, the grass nest is a safe place against robbers. The nest of the weaver bird is remarkable compared to all other birds; it is a customized solution that fully meet the needs of the user, but is made of a material that is available to everyone. This way of thinking is our basis for the Magamba road project.
Learning from Hobhouse
The Hobhouse project (1998-2010)is the predecessor of the Magamba road project. Some of the builders of the Hobhouse project became professionals in the zimbabwean building industry. These builders(trained by the Haarlem Mutare Citylink) have an important role in the Magamba road project. They provide the foundations and support the participants. The Hobhouse project builders lived temporarily in a wooden shed on the land, after which the building should be demolished. Ten years after the start of the project Hobhouse most of the sheds still appears to be. A Zimbabwean rarely demolishes a (residential) place. The barn appears suitable for a grandmother or a small business at home. In Magamba road project is a community center is situated for local entrepreneurs.
Transfer of knowledge
Transfer of knowledge is essential in Magamba road project. As seen in the Hobhouse project, building itself is not the main purpose, but sharing knowledge about construction, resulting in the so much needed housing for the families of Mutare. In addition to building their own house, the participants are building their career.
Where the Hobhouse project was about bringing knowledge on (self) building, the emphasis in the Magamba road project is about sharing knowlegde on new variety of building typologies, construction and sustainable solutions.
The development of the Magamba project starts with the construction of the community center. The place where local entrepreneurs will eventually house their companies is a building knowlegde centre during the construction phase. A large roof with natural ventilation ensures a cool gathering place for local residents. The community center includes a small municipality offce.
Future inhabitants Magamba Road project
Project location Magamba road project
Do it Yourself: each family will start with the 'core house' to guarantee a safe place to sleep.