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Academic . Hypothetical . 2013


Roven Rebeira

This project was conceived in 2013 during my 5th year as an architecture student. This project is one that I refer to as the 'breaking point'. I had grown quite tired of the constant Modern Art Museums, Urban Cultural Centers & Shopping malls that were constantly forced on us through a structured course curriculum. This project for the first time allow me complete freedom (at least beyond an initial collective phase) of the project. 

Simply put, this was community outreach project. Split into groups our studio needed to analyse an under-served urban community, its context & living conditions and then propose a hypothetical community center along with functions that could in some way aid in the improvement of the community.

As course work requirement the project was 2 fold. The above mentioned analysis being the first (group component). The second component involved a set of detailed construction drawing for the community center structure proposed (individual component). The projects group component was an exercise in identification and solving of real world issues through architecture. The individual drawing component was an exercise in design and detailing of a building with a specific purpose in mind - of course a building of this nature needed to be a low cost construction, it needed to be durable and simple enough for the community to feel ownership and belonging (well... at least this was my interpretation)



A simple structure was conceived as a result of detailed analysis and extensive community interviews. As a collective we came up with a simple proposal for a flexible space (The Community Platform) that could accommodate functions such as tutoring classes for school kids, a space for dace lessons an exhibition space for community artists. The structure also facilitated the most popular occupation among the youth of the community - taxi drivers. The structure was placed adjacent to a proposed jogging path that would bring in city dwellers close to the community. The second component proposed within the structure was a community kitchen that could be utilized as a income generating venture for the community to make and sell food items as an interaction with the users of the jogging path.


The Community Platform and Community Kitchen were connected by a central courtyard space which would host a large mango tree. The community had a strong sense of orientation with regards to 4 existing large trees in and around the small streets between the houses and shops in their village. our proposed mango tree was aimed ad adding to the memories and conversations of the people in hopes that the proposed center too would one day, be a deep rooted place in the community 


The proposed structure was a simple A framed form designed to be constructed using galvanized steel pipes. A system of reused / salvaged louvered shutters painted in vibrant colours was proposed as a enclosure system for when security was needed.

The Community Kitchen and Community Platform were both lifted a few steps above the road level on a durable semi polished concrete floor. 


My decision for the individual component of this project was a complete reinterpretation of the proposed structure in bamboo. Thus the structural system and the spatial feel needed to be adapted to fit the material being used.

The site area given for this project was a 1 acre land which was used as a play ground.


I proposed the idea of growing the bamboo needed for the structure on the given site with an added element of community involvement in the architectural process. The building material needed for the structure would be grown harvested treated on site.


Volunteers from the community would be recruited during the entire process and would receive hands on experience in bamboo building. The structure was carefully designed in order to explore varying bamboo connection methods (bamboo ties, fish mouth joinery This was proposed in order to uplift the community and give them transferable skills for the future. They would gain knowledge in alternative, affordable building materials and systems which would empower them to enhance there own derelict dwellings.

The materials produced to communicate the design and alternative construction method in bamboo had to be a hybrid system. For this purpose I produced a set of highly detailed 1' = 1/2'' scaled construction drawings which were by design more graphically expressive along with a construction system model using cane and real bamboo strips. 


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