built area: 200 sq.m (community centre) + 800sq.m (children pitch)
location: Manica, Mozambique
architecture: Alina Jerónimo + Paulo Carneiro
drawings: Alina Jerónimo + Paulo Carneiro
photography: Edgar Lange, Alina Jerónimo + Paulo Carneiro
Included in the FFH 20 community centers in Africa, sponsored by Architecture for Humanity, sfw and financed by FIFA. The Manica Community Center was developed by Alina Jeronimo and Paulo Carneiro and built with local and environmentally friendly materials, forming a local team of workers and integrating the local community in the development process and construction of the project.
The center’s design evokes local vernacular architecture. It was made a strong link between the building and its environment and through the material the earth structure becomes part of the cultural landscape.
The concept is to combine and optimize local techniques with local materials. In this sense, the strategy is to participate in the evolution and modernization of the local construction processes without a rupture in the ‘’know how’’ of populations. In Manica buildings are almost all constructed with earth bricks, so it was also proposed the use of bricks but in an optimized and contemporary version of this traditional system, compressed earth block/ CEB, that doesn’t require plaster finishing. This minimize costs and maintain the main advantage, the use of local earth and its properties, such as thermal inertia and breathable wall capacity. This technique is also very easy to learn and diffused by local communities, which will contribute to the local construction modernization that in the moment is made with fired bricks with low compressive strength and resistance to water, that requires the protection of cement plasters and also participates in the increasing deforestation in Mozambique.