Kabene Evelyn
Makerere University

Project idea

This project was conceived as a need to revitalize degraded landscapes. The project seeks to explore the possibility of design at the intersection of the natural landscape and man made landscape so as to provide a seem less homogeneous facility that stands well to preserve the environment.
The proposed site is an ex sandpit that has been left desolate after mining sand with sinkholes and open pits. The Idea of revitalization and the project user come together because this is a landscape of a wetland.

Project description

This facility is designed in an exclusive manner so that it remains an intimate facility for the authorized users. No large numbers of people shall be allowed in this facility at a time.
The facility will have three category of users namely; the environmental scientists (researchers) who will be residents, the science tourists (visitors) who will come in at appointed time during working hours and the local community who will access the facility during normal working hours.
The main facility on this project is the research building. it is in this building that research work takes place.
it houses the exhibition space, the Herbarium, the Laboratories, The auditorium, and the offices for researchers.
Other facilities include the accommodation which is located in the forest to provide a woodland relaxing environment, the administration and cafeteria which is the intersection point for the visitors and the researchers.

Technical information

MASTER PLAN - A driveway into the compound ushered in by the reception lobby that has full glass windows and high ceiling, then one is welcomed into the administration that overlooks the main research building.
The site has a clean lawn as you enter into the project, it is then intercepted by wild shrubs which are habitats for specimen and also represent the concept of return to nature then one is ushered into the forest that is where you find the accommodation facilities.
The structure;
The research facility seats on pilasters as the main structural system. This is intended to provide proper air circulation for passive cooling, habitats for insects and small animals and also as a self draining site since it is a wetland.
The research building is a steel structure screwed together by use of bolts onto the pilasters. Its skin is of concrete in the interior and steel sheets on the exterior.
The water on site is channeled into visible streams that keep the site fresh and cools throughout the year. These streams sounds can be seen and heard from within and outside the building.
Sustainability has been addressed by use of recycled water on site, flexible solar panels for power supply, grated trays for garbage collection which are designed to allow leachate to sip through to the treatment pond and dry organic waste returned into the landscape as manure. The windows in the workshops and offices are designed to transform into benches during day.
The holes created by mining activity provide the space on which this facility seats to complete the landscape form.

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