A Community based children's home in Mozambique Part 0 Project 1999 University of Cape Town Cape Town South Africa A COMMUNITY BASED CHILDREN’S HOME IN MOZAMBIQUE.War has affected the lives of many Mozambicans. Although Mozambique has begun to rebuild itself, infrastructure has largely been neglected or destroyed, Bairro Hulene, Maputo, is such an area. Predominantly self-built residences open onto community spaces served by water points and a mosaic of informal trade.A home is needed for orphaned, abandoned or displaced children.INTENTIONS: Residential plus shared community facilities encourage a sense of neighbourhood, and the children grow up with a sense of belonging. Local involvement enables the community to influence their own lives and living environments.CONCEPT:Buildings form a hierarchical network of yards, pathways and roads opening onto larger community spaces, reinforcing the established urban context. A family of related spaces, ranging from residential to communal, form an urban neighbourhood. Thresholds, recognisable entry points and informal monitoring replace conventional ‘walls and fences’. Indigenous vegetation defines boundaries and communal spaces.Buildings have standardised design and constructural principles. Spatial hierarchy is created through variations in plinth heights, roof planes, pitches and grades of detail.TECHNOLOGY:Construction derives from place: material availability, climate, economics, community involvement, and skills transfer rather than copying surrounding visual or decorative form.Incremental frames and four basic details unify the scheme, allowing for individualised infill and embellishment. #1 TALIA OWEN - DESIGN THESISA COMMUNITY BASED CHILDREN'S HOME IN MOZAMBIQUEThis project was selected for the following reasons: It engages with real issues of social development in Southern Africa The complex is highly sensitive to the informal settlement in which it is situated. The children’s home forms a new community node in the semi-urban fabric, providing a meeting hall, an urban space, and a water collection point. The project subtly provides both protection and enclosure for the children and connection with the community. 24-hour facilities, such as a small clinic, are discretely placed at the entrances to the urban space, giving continuous surveillance without creating barriers. The children’s “houses” are set up similarly to make protective yet connected homes. The buildings are finely tuned to the local subtropical climate, with open structuring, outside and semi-outside living space, deep overhangs for shade, low heat-capacity materials and a variety of screens to enable good ventilation. There is an inventive reinterpretation of traditional construction techniques, using locally available materials and skills. Everything from programme to building detail is handled with imagination and practicality.