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Old Posted Dec 21, 2010, 5:18 PM
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M II A II R II K M II A II R II K is offline
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Shipping a Vernacular Village Out to Africa

Shipping a Vernacular Village Out to Africa


Read More: http://archpaper.com/e-board_rev.asp?News_ID=5057

In the burgeoning village of Maai Mahiu, Kenya, there is no method to the madness of development. An architect, an engineer, and a nonprofit organization hope to change that. At the November First Friday’s event at the Missouri Crossroads Arts District in Kansas City, nonprofit Comfort the Children (CTC)— which promotes community development through education, environment, economic, and health initiatives—showcased a pre-fabricated community center that it hopes will become a model for simple, high-quality vernacular architecture.

The community center was designed by architect Philippe Barriere, founder of the Philippe Barriere Collective, with help from William Zahner of A. Zahner Company, an architectural metal and glass fabricator; the structure will remain in Kansas City for the next few months on display to raise awareness and money. In mid-2011, it will be dismantled and sent to Kenya for reassembly by local workers trained by a contingent from Zahner. Zane Wileman, executive director of CTC, said his organization “is about education and empowerment, so we work with the local population to help them build themselves out of poverty.”

A proponent of multi-transitional growth housing, Barriere said his design is slated to be the first of many such installations on the Kenyan site. As funding allows through partnerships and donations, structures will organically grow into each other over time. Said Barriere, “Each prototype is organized to create a rhythm in which they eventually reach each other to make a coherent whole.” Wileman explained that these structures would serve as a hub for future development.

A prefabricated community center could become a model for simple vernacular architecture in Kenya.

The multifunctional prefab pod can be reconfigured and linked to other pods.

The 12.5-acre site in Kenya's Rift Valley is being prepared with a water well, landscaping, and a soccer field.

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Old Posted Dec 21, 2010, 7:05 PM
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Can it be made out of local Kenyan materials? Can it be easily manufactured in Kenya?
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Old Posted Dec 22, 2010, 2:45 AM
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Jesus Christ. A building designed, by an architect, halfway around the world, and then pre-fabbed, and shipped to the site... is the absolute antithesis of vernacular architecture. Why did they even try to use that term?
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Old Posted Dec 22, 2010, 4:17 AM
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This is like serving Doritos and claiming they're home made. Vernacular architecture never embellishes itself with a bunch of crap. It's simple, easy to build and reflects the culture of the people who built it. This does none of that.

If they can't build it without following blueprints produced on the other side of the planet, then the term "vernacular" doesn't even begin to apply.
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