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Earth construction and community project

Land-rights recognition

At AMAICHA DEL VALLE in Argentina
In 2009
By Architectes Sans Frontières - France
Local partners: Terre Construite
Donors: Self funding

The association Terre Construite/Tierra Construida bases its approach on earth construction techniques, as a political answer to the issues of construction economy. Its involvment inside the Amaicha del Valle community strengthened this position, facilitating the community to build its economic and social autonomy. Natives communities have been recognized since the new Argentinian Constitution in 1994. At Amaicha del Valle, only 52.812 of the 132.000 ha of claimed lands were given back through a cadastral sketch in 2002. The administrative process for the legal restitution of the land is not over yet. Thus the struggle continues for the recognition of the whole territory against big land-owners and the constitutional context.

TC, in partnership with ASF-France, was actively involved in this work by drawing a precise map of the territorial limits, with the help of the “Cedula Real”, a 1716 text in which the king of Spain did recognize the existence of the community. The project manager of ASF, in a frame of action by TC, works closely with the cacique (chief of the community) on several projects:

- Establishment of a urban code

- Recovery of a plot, in order to refurbish it into a community development center (hosteria)

- Building of workshops for a school for the disabled (escuela San Roque)

- Technical support for a bridge construction (la Fronterita)

- Refurbishment of a building for tourism purposes, in order to develop the economic autonomy of the community (Pulperia)

- Survey of Quilmes’ ruins site, to improve the rainwater system which is currently damaging the archeological heritage.

In addition, the “Tierra Construida association house” allows architecture students to get earth construction training with amaicheños (Amaicha inhabitants), who still build with this material.

environment
participatory design
Earth construction
final construction

Children and staff accomodation

Shelter for children

At AVRANKOU in Benin
From 2005 to 2009
By Architectes Sans Frontières - France
Local partners: GREF - Regard du Coeur
Donors: COOP 92

Following several educational projects lead by the GREF in Benin, a lack of structures to accomodate children with problems was pointed out in the region of Ouémé. “Regard du Coeur”, a local association for the protection of childhood, is associated with the project. Located in the area of Avrankou, the building hosts for 60 internal children and 30 external children from 8 to 16 years old. The programme, linked to the pedagogical project of both associations, includes accomodation for children and staff, a building for educational activities and technical buildings. The plan for the buildings on a 3 ha plot was conceived in order to preserve a maximum of palm trees in the surrounding area.

The project is adapted to the local way of life. Most of the buildings are covered, though not completely enclosed (type “appatam”). The buildings are made of clay bricks and concrete tiles.

Such architectural design choices combine the awareness of the climate with the environment of their construction, while utilising current progessions in construction techniques. This project is devised as a “school construction site” and provides learners with required and desirable skills. The department of Hauts-de-Seine subsidized the first phase of the progress, representing 75% of the whole installation.

site plan
building
building
building
interior of the building

Building the Guambian Community

Social development and settlement improval

At MORALES in Colombia
In 2007
By Architetti Senza Frontiere Italia
Local partners: Fundacion Horizonte of the socialgroup Asmet Salud

The project has the purpose of contributing to the reinforcement of the social, ethnic and cultural background of the “Guambian” native community of the “Cabildo La Bonanza” by means of the improvement of its habitat, that is to say the living, hygienic, sanitary conditions and infrastructures. Beneficiaries are composed of 205 Guambian families coming from Resguardo of Guambia Silvia and compelled, since 1930, to move into the east part of Morales Municipality for the lack of lands to live on. The Community faced the difficulties coming from settling in a new land, with the risk of loosing its own identity as a native ancestral community.

Gambian Community asked for support in the reinforcement and improvement of its settlement, as well as in the process of social and cultural development. According to this request, ASF Onlus elaborated the following project in cooperation with the local community:
a) improvement of the present hygienic, sanitary, living conditions and infrastructure, necessary to guarantee the available habitat for the community. For this purpose, the project will provide to the building of 20 houses for 20 families together with the basic infrastructures linked to them, in status of “auto-costruzione”;
b) creation of a laboratory for the manufacturing of “guadua” (a kind of material similar to bamboo) and of wood, useful for the houses’ construction;
c) promotion of training activities in communitary organization, leadership, building activities, manufacturing, creation of small factories, with the aim of strengthening the communitary organization and starting up productive activities in favour of the whole community.

The project aims to make all the people involved (target group and local partners) able to develop their own technical and organization abilities by means of a communitary, synergic partecipation between the whole native population and the target group. Thus the project aims to contribute in making it easier to begin a sustainable development process.

location
housing
wooden construction

Building houses in recovered land

Social minority communities, social status & living conditions

At CHAMPERICO in Guatemala
From 2005 to 2006
By Arquitectura Sin Fronteras - Spain
Local partners: Coordinadora Nacional Indígena Campesina
Donors: Public funding

The main goal of this project is to support the process of ‘Selfconstruction of Dwellings’ in the Victorias 3 community, founded in 1999 after a long period of organisation and vindication by the community, which culminated in the recovery of the land. With this project we seek, in addition to the symbolic value of the land, to allow for the families in Victorias 3 to improve their health and hygienic conditions as well as their economic situation. Moreover, by providing a stable habitat, living conditions within the family, social relationships, and the degree of empowerment of the community will be improved. Hence, they can proceed with this process of human development, originally set off by themselves together with the organisation for the recovery of Mother Earth. The dwellings will be built with autochthonous equipment, materials and technologies, to facilitate usability and supply and to prevent the risk of technological dependency. The benefi ciaries themselves, who previously followed a capacity building course, will provide labour. Upkeep of dwellings is therefore guaranteed by the owners themselves.

project
building process
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