‘For a generation in which the dimension of reality is displaced more and more by virtual aspects, the implementation of student projects is decisive for a fundamental understanding of architecture.’
Hermann A. Kaufmann
PAVILIONS for OKANA is a Design & Build Project and an interdisciplinary challenge.
The combination of design research and architectural composition triggered the project to
grow beyond a theoretic level. Next to the design for a prototypical pavilion structure for the rural communities around Lake Victoria (East-Africa), the project focused on the realization phase following the graduation project. Hence the co-working students’ responsibility lay within the research of building techniques, cultural and construction patterns resulting in the reinterpretation of traditional patterns of inhabitation and the design for a community centre in Okana (Kenya). Next to it, managing the follow-up construction phase, acquisition of funding and having the final project leadership on site forms part of the challenge to explore the potential of a Design & Build – approach on academic level initiated by two students.
The graduation project was graded with suma cum laude and awarded with an Honourable Mention for the innovative and new approach applied. Besides, it was selected for the national Archiprix 2016 as one of the best graduation projects in the Netherlands.
MSc 3/4 Master Graduation Project Feb 2015 – Jan 2016
Graduation Studio Explore Lab | TU Delft
Prof. T. Asselbergs | Dr.-Ing. M. Bilow | Ass.-Prof. N. Mota | Prof. T. Avermaete
Laura Katharina Straehle | E. Rouwendal
The design idea for the pilot pavilion for public use in East-Africa is inspired by the local Acacia Tree. It is a popular meeting point for all rural community members to chat and discuss. Underneath the tree people find a shadow place to hide from the bright sun or protection from heavy rains during the rainy season.
The culture of the community to gather under trees has been translated into an architectural roofscape resulting in a pilot building principle suitable to be applied in other locations than Okana and able to be modified with individual spaces underneath. Important requirements for the roof are to catch water and collect sun while providing naturally ventilated and flexible spaces inside. The pilot pavilion has to be able to house a lot of different functions for its use in varying contexts in East-Africa.