Ecole Supérieure Speciale d'Architecture du Cameroun (ESSACA) Yaoundé

Project idea

All human civilizations are distinguished from one another by their own operating systems. They also diverge from one region to another according to their immediate environments and the resources that these put at their disposal. However, this environment is more than ever threatened by pollution (water, air, soil), climate change, unhealthy conditions, loss of biodiversity, deforestation, etc.
Therefore, to what extent can we through architecture ensure social cohesion, the preservation of natural biodiversity and cultural diversity that constitutes the wealth of our heritage?
In West Cameroon, more precisely in BAFOU which is a village in the department of Menoua; one of the main resources exploited by the local populations is raffia which is a natural material available, easy to use and used for construction, for everyday utensils (chair, table, bed, handbag, ladder etc...). Material that grows in the marigots snaking along the whole village.
The exploitation of these marigots of raffia being abusive, the raffia begins to be more and more unavailable and the ecosystem is thus threatened. Therefore, the central question that will direct our study here is how architecture can contribute to the preservation and revival of this ecosystem while preserving the cultural attraction that this population has for the use of raffia?

Project description

The BIOCLIMATIC AND PERMACULTURAL TRAINING CENTER ON THE USE OF RAFFIA comes by this study to propose an outline of solution to this problem.
The first objective for this project is to create a space that will be able to train and sensitize the population on the culture of the raffia this in the objective to reconstitute the fauna which was existing for the future generations; the second is to create a space of transmissions and conservation of the local know-how relating to the use of the raffia which is an asset to the community; and the third is to create a space of living together for the benefit of the community.
As our project is a social and awareness-raising project for the population, it had to be located in an area that has a high visibility potential and that is why we chose a site facing the entrance of the village chieftaincy. The chieftaincy is the organ that organizes the traditional and cultural life of the village.
To make the project attractive, we have in addition to training spaces on the culture of raffia, we have proposed spaces such as an event room and social spaces open to the population.
In terms of the morphology of the project, we were inspired by the typology of the locality as a basic element which is a set of materials available in the locality.
Wanting to make this project a space of reunification; we used the triangle which is the most stable geometric figure in nature. We used it as a basic frame, and the vertices constituting the poles of activities and the body and the center of the triangle for the spaces of socialization.

Technical information

To maximize the thermal comfort in the project we have shifted the roofs in relation to the orientation of the sun to gain a maximum of shaded area for communication spaces.
The site is bounded on the north and south by communication routes, we used vegetation as a protective element.