Building with One's Own Hands
Client: s2arch – social and sustainable architecture, Verein für soziale und nachhaltige Architektur, Wien (AT) Ithuba Wild Coast Community College (IWCCC), Mzamba Mouth (Mbizana) (ZA)
Architects: Studio Mzamba, Hochschule München München (DE) under the leadership of von Markus Dobmeier
Location: Mzamba, Eastern Cape (ZA)
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"Design-Build" is a term that refers to projects developed in teaching courses and subsequently implemented on site in a self-construction process by the students themselves. For the school village in Mzamba, a master plan was drawn up at the Technical University Munich, according to which each form (one per year) was to enjoy its own house with a veranda and garden. Carefully designed open areas provide adequate scope for additional learning activities. For example, the children grow vegetables that are then prepared in the school kitchen. In numerous recesses, walled enclosures and on benches, children can work in smaller groups; and training is done on sporting areas of the campus. The individual buildings form an ensemble that is deliberately contrasted with the scattered surrounding settlement, thereby forming a new centre in its own right. Lasting a number of weeks, the building excursions with the selected participants were organized for the term holidays and called for a great deal of commitment on their part – physical involvement as well as a capacity for teamwork and an ability to communicate. To promote the identification of the local people with the school, they were integrated not only in every decision-making process, but local helpers were drawn into all working stages, particularly young men without professional prospects.