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Rwanda as a post conflict country has gone through a lot of change over the past decades. Today the capital city Kigali is a thriving city, but its growing population and controversial urban growth puts stress on its inhabitants. Additionally, climate change is triggering severe events like floods and landslides. Today, each district of Kigali has flood prone zones. Especially vulnerable communities, often living in informal settlements, are affected by these events. These settlements are characterized by high levels of poverty, unemployment, an unhealthy environment and substandard housing. That aside, they are constructed on the most undesirable land such as steep slopes, swampy grounds or rocky soils that are hard to build on. Furthermore, the current poor sanitation situation is a pressing concern. The majority of households do not have access to safe toilets, often using pit latrines. While this is their daily hustle, the vector borne disease malaria, which is often linked to poor water management, is a major key challenge to overcome.
A home is a place to honor life. People all over the globe have the right to live with dignity. Therefore, a home should accommodate prosperous life, sense of belonging and long lasting happiness.
The place characterized by a strongly moving topography with hilly terrain. In order to adapt to the topography and simultaneously protect the dwellers' home from flooding, we decided to use a raised building structure. Thus, the high population density restricts land use. Subsequently, a multi-story approach is pursued. While the ground floor provides space for a living area, a kitchen, a restroom and a shop, which could be placed on the front porch, the first floor connected by a ladder provides space for two bedrooms.
To ensure the carrying capacity and robustness against floods, the building's main structure is made out of concrete. Additionally, lighter wooden beams support the roof and give an aesthetic to the appearance. The ground floor walls are constructed from bricks from the local soil. On the upper level a combination of wood and bamboo is used as an enclosure. The pitched roof is made out of bamboo. Due to air in- and outlets inspired by the Imigongo art, natural ventilation is ensured throughout the whole house.
In order to tackle the mentioned challenges we came up with the following protection measurements. First, the raised floor construction reduces the risk of flooding and its severe consequences. Second, the exterior house is characterized by natural mosquito repellent plants to reduce the risk of mosquitoes entering the house. These plants are mainly beneath windows and air inlets, but can be placed around the house. Third, the poor sanitation situation is tackled by a decentralized dry toilette that enables recycling of sewage and thereby produces biogas and fertilizer on a small scale. The biogas is used as a source of energy, while the fertilizer can be used to manure the farmland.
This project aims to generate space for the vulnerable in the society of Kigali to live a better life.
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