Resilient Community After Crisis

MAHAMAT TALBA, Nankeng Erica Reine , Bambourbo Makoal Raoul , Bekada Owana Frank Loïc
École nationale supérieure des travaux publics Yaoundé

Project idea

A resilient community after crisis
The Boko Haram terrorist crisis has spread from the Niger border and deeply affected much of Nigeria. Following multiple attacks, many neighborhoods have been affected and many families have lost their homes and dwellings, ending up in government relocation zones, where shelter is far from decent. We are convinced that architecture is much more than just an elegant aesthetic, but a means of improving the living conditions of a community.
At the heart of the humanitarian crisis caused by Boko Haram in Nigeria, in the locality of Kwanan Yaji Gombi LGA, Adamawa State emerges an architectural project of resilient housing. This project responds to urgent housing needs while embracing a sustainable and inclusive future vision. Based on the principles of dispersing high-density public spaces in the urban environment, it offers a solution for making the project resilient in the event of a future terrorist attack, while fostering harmonious integration and intimate dialogue with the project’s surroundings.
The active participation of the local population is at the heart of its design, enabling collective ownership and deep cultural roots. It is therefore a holistic vision of a project built with the help of the people.

Project description

The spatial layout of each residence is designed to be staggered and progressively gradual, offering a harmonious transition from public to private spaces, thus promoting the privacy of the inhabitants. This approach is deeply rooted in the anthropology of the region’s predominantly Muslim population. The result is a subtle fusion of privacy and community life, creating a coherent balance between these two essential aspects of daily life.
The residences are designed to offer a variety of unit types (A, B, C, and D, E) to meet the needs of different family structures. Type A is designed for standard families, type B for multigenerational families, type C for polygamous families, type D for extended families (multigenerational and polygamous), and type E for elderly couples.These units are laid out on a modular grid, enabling families to personalize their homes and extend them through self-build using simple, intuitive construction techniques. This flexibility enables the homes to cope with an estimated 30% increase in the number of households over the next 10 years, providing a sustainable solution to the community’s ever-changing needs.

Technical information

The use of local materials such as earth bricks and the incorporation of Hausa cultural motifs on the walls of the dwellings testify to an approach that respects traditions and cultural values.
In addition, the project incorporates passive design features to ensure optimum thermal comfort while reducing the environmental footprint. The urban environment is protected by a plant wall designed to filter sandy winds. A central artery has been designed to channel the flow of wind accompanied by sand, while secondary branches have been planned to divert winds less laden with sand, thus enabling regulated and filtered ventilation within the various urban clusters. In the urban center, a central inclusive space has been developed to provide a place for meeting and exchange in order to strengthen the social fabric and promote the integration of displaced populations into their new lives. In order to strengthen social inclusion and economic resilience, a cyclical approach to resource management is emphasized.
This project embodies a resilient future vision for the victims of terrorist attacks in Nigeria, offering more than a safe and adaptive refuge, but a « home », a place of affection and memory, but also a place of local development and integration.


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