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preschool design competition for Oromia, Ethiopia 2020

Creative Canopies From afar, creative canopies are a visually explosive center of attraction with its colorful roof and shades: a learning center for the community, an active place for interactions: where the elderly meet for a chat under a tree, where young women and men get a platform for trainings and classes; where children are in a safe, inspirational and inclusive environment. - As a tree protects all life under its umbrella, here the school unites all generations to actively discuss the future of their children under a lightweight and inexpensive roof. Entering the compounds, a designated outdoor space + fig tree for informal meetings invites people to actively engage right from the start until construction. The community will collaborate with Abay Ethiopia (the NGO) providing the available local materials like straw, stone, clay, and labor, creating an environmentally sound and sustainable place. From there, a path leads to the different clusters for classes + common activities, lined by a shaded corridor with a fruit tree in front of each classroom; vegetable gardens, a covered playground, and dense green areas and sanitary facilities follow the same grid. The 200m2 clusters allow different combinations and a cost-efficient way to plan the different phases on site. Its basic geometry provides intimate, secure spaces, east-west-facing openings for a maximal thermal comfort during daytime and evening classes. A balance between natural, locally available materials (grass and straw) and longevity + healthy environments is combined in the local, traditional wall construction technique includes a wooden framework and different types of woven fiber across / reed mats. Where necessary, layers of mud and earth can be used as cladding and thus will provide a better thermally moderate climate, and act as sound barrier between different rooms. Rural schools often lack light, our interiors are simple but very bright depending on the color of the fabric, each room with a different theme - during the day, the colors are slowly changing as the sun moves. The in between spaces allow smaller playgrounds and water run offs during heavy rains, plants to protect the soil stability and a sanitation system with a circular design concept to later use homemade biogas if needed. It’s appearance carries a sense for play with colors, textures, materials, - all on its creative canopies.

Kigali, Rwanda  2021

Comfort zone The site placed on a cross point between a sprawling, dense city center and two green belts, providing food and comfort to the city. HHOA will tap into this infrastructure and create a place of natural comfort and calmness – through intelligent and cost-effective construction and landscaping. - A space to give and receive, a feeling of safety. The main entrance from the new street (@1518), – by foot or by car – leads through a series of pathways into the lower ground main Entrance to buildings (@1506). A series of stone walls are guiding the storm water through channels of stones + gravel before it will reach the retention basin. This water can be used for washrooms and gardens. Further food and stabilizer plants are dedicated to retaining water and guide the visitor towards the main entrance (can be done in phases). HHOA crafts three types of spaces: a) indoor –dust free and welcoming, b) roof – covered, intimate circulation space and c) open meditative gardens. Buildings are arranged for circulation routes to be short, covered and energy efficient – providing a system for natural light and ventilation where needed (9-month rainy season). Most of hallways are open towards the interior gardens, that are extended to the façade: mesh wires help the crawling plants - growing spaces of intimacy, joy and always changing experiences. Three layers of plants divide indoor and outdoor activities, a corridor of beans, pepper or cat’s claw creepers; placed primarily along the west facing (afternoon sun); the green curtain cools down the circulation and resting zones; allows wind to circulate to create a pleasant climate for staff and all visitors. At the operatory, the mesh and creepers additionally are placed act as teasers, forming a playful views and shadows from a patient’s perspective; naturally pigmented paints ranging will give each training zone an own color coding, by painting the metal structures accordingly. The prayer room is located next to the meditation garden, it is a peaceful place, lit though a slit above and with one prominent window facing the view corridor towards the morning sun (east). The proposal focuses on simple construction techniques - cost-effective design elements: minimizing excavation and semi-open circulation spaces to reduce costs where possible (construction costs estimate around 650USD/sqm). A layer of a seasonal changing landscapes gives the Hope Center healing power and playfulness for the everyday .

 a collaboration with SUTER PLUS, CH, 2019

AFAR In Ethiopia, many building materials are imported at great expense. The Swiss Embassy is a pioneer building on the way to a modern, sustainable construction method in the urban context of Addis Ababa. 800 years ago in Ethiopia buildings were erected from the ground. The gel churches in Lalibea have been altered over centuries by weather and erosion but are still very modern in their form and materialization. The Swiss Embassy in Addis is also to be built from the ground. For this, a historical and traditional technique will be used in a modern way. The technique of "Pisé" or rammed earth has gained attention in Western Europe in the last decades. It has been applied on a new scale through innovations developed in Switzerland. Through the transfer of knowledge, which is part of the design and the building concept, the project will show that buildings with high comfort requirements can also be built with local and traditional materials. Urban setting The siting of the two volumes with their different uses and corresponding expression, within the formative enclosure, offers a lot of potential for the exterior space and the spatial relationships between them. The seven-meter high earthen wall, facing the street, protects the site from the noise and visibility of Jimma Road, thus revealing its building qualities to the public. The office with its simple, clear volume forms a representative facade parallel to the street and the protective wall. In the connection to the other wing, the passage leads to the wider complex. Here opens the garden and the opposite pavilion-like residence, with its diversified volume. The dialogue between inside and outside, the different uses and individual spatial references shows in the center, the garden, the high quality. Landscape In the access zone between the street and the chancellery, plants/mosses are planned that can both bind the dirt and noise and at the same time not form a visual obstruction in the zone. These will be placed systematically, linearly along the facade to the entrances, guiding the visitors to the interior of the chancellery, as well as to the focal point, the garden, and further to the residence. The rest of the site, free of emissions, is designed as a generous garden, with different qualities, and can only be experienced on foot. The altitude of the property (approx. +2350m.a.s.l.) lends itself to the creation of an ethio-alpine space, in which various useful, medicinal and ornamental plants create places of tranquility and concentration. Within the residence, in the courtyard, the garden is complemented by another green oasis. This, in its cross-like form, serves as a connection and at the same time forms the gradation of privacy of the spaces. Lot 2 will be transformed into a colorful, somewhat wilder orchard, with avocado, mango and papaya trees, after construction is complete. Thus, the area becomes usable, without major intervention. Team: Suter plus Gmbh ( Deborah Suter (team leader) Arthur de Buren, Julia Mauser

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