MDJ ALLADA is a project born from the collaboration between VERSO and the Beninese NGO LA MAISON DE LA JOIE to design and to build a new orphanage in the city of Allada, in Benin.
"La Maison de la Joie" has been active in Ouidah for almost 10 years, providing education and a shelter for dozens of orphans and young teenagers who in many cases would have as only alternative a street life in a country where children exploitation and bounded labor are still a big challenge to be solve.
The virtuous management model hold by the current administration has shown in recent years an increasing demand for hospitality from the territory and a growing trust by local institutions.
However it is also true that many othe necessities have been arisen such the one to make some upgradings in the structure, smaller and smaller year by year, up to the idea of a new complex in the city of Allada, not too far from Ouidah.
VERSO has been invited to take part into this important challenge in order to solve the technical problem of the new building, explore littles guest' needs, develop a design solution and to mediate relations with local professionals.
During first planning steps, we have taken into account a special attention to children in order to involve them into the process as protagonists and to guarantee a preliminary and free space of expression.
The project concept is based on the need of space control. Therefore has been designed an introvert building organized around a central courtyard and main functions. This way all spaces can be easily monitored by few educators.
The central space, the courtyard, becomes a protected and safe place to socialize.
The project consists of various modular blocks, a shaded outdoor dining room and a collective space with a playground identity, study rooms and administrative offices.
Living and working spaces of the orphanage are identified thanks to a series of degrees of privacy: by this way architecture becomes sensitive to the needs of children and maintains a sense of security at the same time.
The orphanage project has developed from a long list of parameters including costs, climate, local resources availables and construction flexibility.
In order to maximize the results, we have chosen a raw earth building system by modifying some traditional construction techniques and creating a stronger structure in the form of bricks, which are easy to produce and which provide thermal protection against the hot climate.
A large and ventilated has been designed in order to protect walls from tropical rains during rain seasons.
The double roof system protects in facts the building from rain and direct sunlight, allowing to mantain interiors ventilated. A perimeter protection wall is also planned.
The realization of the project is designed in different phases and is designed with simple elements to facilitate the possibility of self-construction.
If you are interested in supporting this project, you can do it by helping us to share it, collaborating with us or, more simply, making a donation.
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