Automobile Service and Repair Center

John Kalanzi
Makerere University

Project idea

The project objective was to provide a Contemporary One stop Automobile center for standard vehicle servicing. At the moment, Uganda lacks a modern facility for vehicle repair and servicing and yet 70% of vehicles in Uganda are above 15 years old. This facility would therefore revamp the Ugandans confidence about their vehicles by providing professionally serviced and repaired vehicles and thus increase vehicle longevity.
The project would also skill the local mechanics (in form of training and apprenticeship). This knowledge gained would improve youth livelihood through job creation and thus enhance economic and social development.
It would also reduce the rate of vehicular carbon emissions by poorly serviced and repaired vehicles which currently form a greater percentage of vehicles on Ugandan roads given that buying a brand new car is very expensive in Uganda.

Project description

My design concept is "Reliving the journey" of the vehicle; broken into three stages that is; from its brand new state where the vehicle is perfect, efficient and fully functional and beautiful. Spaces provided for under stage one are Administration offices designed with an open plan concept to create a straight-forward and direct experience, with calmness through use of clean colors and natural materials aimed at boosting confidence of workers. It enables everyone to feel welcome and aids to create contrast between the surrounding and the exhibition of vehicles-which in this case become pieces of art or sculptures.
This stage also has a Research center with a Library.

Then stage two is where the vehicle begins to experience mechanical and technical issues. Here the vehicle induces anxiety to the owner, worry, caution and its overall efficiency drops, thus becoming a burden to the owner. At this stage is when the vehicle "frequents the hospital".
Within this second stage, HOPE and restoration are applied to resuscitate the vehicle. Spaces that reduce anxiety and stress of the vehicle owner are provided that is Customer Lounge, Customer workstations to preoccupy those that have brought their vehicles for repairs and service, Client relations center and all these are incorporated with nature to relax the mind. The workshops are also in this stage where the vehicles are restored to their near perfect state.
Stage three is the testing and "celebration" stage where the vehicle is testing, cleaning, performance checks like wheel alignment, wheel balancing, engine checks, body checks, vehicle cleaning/washing, fueling and restaurants.

Technical information

In stage one, there is order, calmness and the use of natural materials and abundant light to calm the user and also provide a contrast to the cars exhibited. Also the introduction of natural elements aids to calm and relax the anxiety of the car owner.

In stage two, working space (workshops) is made to feel a lot by use of high headrooms (also aiding workability), clear floor finish of floated concrete to clearly detect dirt and so clean up. Natural light filtering from the transparent roofs to give the worker an outdoor experience. Also ventilation from above by the stack effect provided by clerestory openings above. The workshop bays are 5 meters by 9 meters with 7 meters passages to improve circulation and workability. All these enhance sustainability and improve ventilation within the workshop areas.

Stage three has roofs patterned to mimic a restored state which is not as perfect as the original. They let in natural light which aids workability and create near perfect patterns of shade to the ground. Ventilation is provided by open filters of vertical planes (staggered columns, overhanging roof planes).


John Kalanzi

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