Hollmén Reuter Sandman Uses Local Materials And Motifs For Kilimanjaro Women’s Refuge

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The culture, climate and resources of Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro area informed the design and style of this refuge for victims of domestic violence, made up of numerous yellow buildings organized all around a courtyard .

Shelter House in Tanzania by Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects

Found in the city of Moshi, the shelter was made by Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects for the Kilimanjaro Females Details Exchange and Consultancy Organization (KWIECO), which offers secure housing for women as properly as advice on legal, wellness, social and financial concerns.

Shelter House in Tanzania by Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects

Architects Saija Hollmén, Jenni Reuter and Helena Sandman are also the founders of Ukumbi, a Finnish not-for-revenue organisation that engages in architecture projects for communities in want.

Shelter House in Tanzania by Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects

The organisation managed to raise funding from the Finnish Foreign Ministry and different Finnish foundations for the initial phase of the KWIECO undertaking.

It comprises bedrooms, bathrooms, a initial-help room, a matron’s area and a kitchen and communal outside dining region.

Shelter House in Tanzania by Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects

The facility is positioned on the inner portion of the plot away from a close by road to make sure privacy, and the blocks housing its numerous amenities open onto a central courtyard that provides a protected room for outdoor pursuits.


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Other covered outdoor areas can be used for meetings and seminars in all climate. Their positioning encourages organic ventilation to filter during the constructing.

Shelter House in Tanzania by Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects

“We wished to create shaded, modest-scale outside spaces alongside the bedrooms,” architect Jenni Reuter told Dezeen. “It’s crucial that the building feels secure for customers that can be quite traumatised when coming there.”

Shelter House in Tanzania by Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects

A 2nd phase of the task would be inserted in between the street and present buildings to even more screen them from the outside, and is at the moment awaiting funding.

The entrance to the shelter is marked by a decorative gate painted with symbols generally located on the kanga skirts worn by Tanzanian ladies. The skirts typically attribute riddles or proverbs, and the message written in Swahili on the gate translates to: “Equal rights for all are the basis of development”.

Shelter House in Tanzania by Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects

The architects borrowed extensively from local Tanzanian culture when designing the shelter and involved its users in the procedure to ensure it meets their particular needs.


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Materials and building methods familiar to nearby builders help the structures fit into their context, and reply to the prevailing climate.

Shelter House in Tanzania by Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects

“We needed the undertaking to really feel inviting and secure and the spatial hierarchy to be acquainted to the coming end users,” Reuter extra. “We really feel it really is essential to consider to use regional components as effectively as sustainable creating strategies wherever you function in the globe.”

Shelter House in Tanzania by Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects

The architects launched a number of vernacular details to improve the neighborhood come to feel of the venture, like doors clad with vertical bamboo panels and ceilings in some of the rooms created from banana leaves.

Shelter House in Tanzania by Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects

Skylights make certain daylight reaches the rooms and minimises the use of artificial lighting, whilst the walls of the toilets integrate tiles made from repurposed glass bottles that cast a coloured light across the interior.

Shelter House in Tanzania by Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects

A pink hue initially regarded as for the external walls was rejected as it was too equivalent to the branding of a local telecommunications company, so yellow was selected as an alternative – meant to complement the red earth.

Photography is by Juha Ilonen.

Shelter House in Tanzania by Hollmén Reuter Sandman ArchitectsGround floor prepare Shelter House in Tanzania by Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects1st floor plan Shelter House in Tanzania by Hollmén Reuter Sandman ArchitectsSegment Dezeen

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