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african house

tanzania • home for jorejick family

The project wants to arrange buildings and functions into a Home-Village configuration, bringing them within a single complex from existing sparse structure. The idea comes from two main cultural references: “Kanga” and “Hearth”. Kanga is a traditional garment and represents art, beauty and culture of East Africa. Pattern on this fabric is tipically divided in two parts: a wide border called pindo (Swahili for "stitching") and a central part called mji ("city"); inside the mji often appears a sentence called ujumbe or jina (the “name” of the kanga), usually a proverb or good wish message. The hearth represents home and family intimacy in many cultures other than a fireplace for outdoor cooking, largely used in Africa.


tipologia • concorso

committente • archistorming

anno • 2020

location • tanzania

progetto • arcangeli studio

arch. azara simone

arch. cambi alessandro


The house plan mirrors a typical kanga composition: the roof acts as a frame (pindo), with a large rectangular central hole, that 'sews' and identifies the area of the central patio (mji), where arrangement of seats and flowerbeds recall its design.
The hearth sits in the central courtyard as outdoor kitchen, represents the core of the village where the community gathers and all functions of the project are depicted around it. Separate volumes compose the house-village, each one with its unique purpose: bedrooms, living room, showers/laundry, water tank/crop storage, indoor kitchen. All volumes are organised around the central courtyard, where seats for the outdoor kitchen, along with play and relax areas are located. The roof is a unique element, connects all volumes and allows rainwater harvesting, stored in tanks for later use.


The plan for building construction involves traditional techniques such as: vertical structures with handmade brick walls, wooden structure for the roof and the porch, "V" wooden pillars (recalling trees conformation) with boards side by side to be assembled and nailed on site. All structural parts will rest on a concrete foundation and the "V" pillars are fixed on it with a steel plate. The idea for the roof covering is to use steel panels fixed to the wooden structure. The volume’s walls facing the internal courtyard are dematerialized, becoming diaphragms made with modules of recycled wooden slats, delimited by frames in boards, all preassembled on site and dry-laid. The entrance of the “Home-Village” showcases Kangas hanging from the roof, representing the project’s manifesto. The jina we selected for our project is: “upendo na amani huanzia ndani ya nyumba” (love and peace begin at home). A wish for the Jorejick family.

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