Location: Karatu, TANZANIA
Area: 2,500 sq. ft
Project Type : Residential
We envision the Jorejick family home as an interconnected series of spaces designed to align with the lives of its many members and its particular cultural-geographic context. The aim is to create a sense of positive “dwelling” (to draw upon Heidegger) by playing close attention to the relationship between the property’s inhabitants (human and animal) and spaces defined by boundaries (built and natural).
Sensitive situating. Our approach to siting the Jorejick house is to work with existing site conditions and boundaries, which include trees, the cattle pen, and Nico’s house. The house’s connected spaces are advantageously nestled amongst existing trees in order to avail of their shade. The house is also oriented along WNW-ESE axis so as to reduce solar heat gain and permit the passing through of prevailing winds. Additionally, the fenestration mostly face North and South.
Bridging public and private faces. As it is designed, the house serves as a bridge between “public-” and “private”-facing functions of family life. The double-storey entrance block (which includes the living room) creates a vantage across the pastures to observe in- and out-going flows of people. Meanwhile, at the far opposite North corner of the house, self-contained and hygienic dry composting toilets are privately situated.
Elaborating upon in/outdoor space through a play of volumes. The house has been conceptualised as a series of staggered volumes unified by a single connecting roof. This results in a variety of indoor, outdoor and semi-open spaces with myriad uses for the age-diverse family members. Three distinct indoor volumes are linked by a wide covered passageway (or “bridge”) which also demarcates two outdoor courtyards. The western courtyard, shaded by a tree, is oriented around “household service” and connects the kitchen and the cattle pen. The courtyard towards the east is oriented around “family recreation,” extending the adjacent living room.
Building upon traditional forms and materials. The proposed house represents a considered translation of the Jorejick’s existing traditional hut into novel, yet locallysourced, materials. Instead of a thatched roof, we propose a more permanent alternative in the form of a layered brick tile roof laid over a timber frame. This faceted sloping roof provides improved heat and sound insulation while also allowing for rainwater collection. Load-bearing rammed earth walls replace adobe, providing excellent thermal performance.
Through our design proposal, we aim to not only achieve a well constructed and economical house for the Jorejick family, but for houses across Africa, which infuse a sense of ‘dwelling’ in its truest form.