Project DescriptionA BIT OF TUSCANY, ON MGAMBO (TANZANIA)
Studio Lauria presents the project for a farm just outside the village of Mgambo Maramba, in a slightly undulating terrain between the savannah and the green slopes of the Usambara Mountains.
It is "close" to Kilimanjaro, almost halfway between the Olduvai Gorge, the site where the monolith of the novel "2001: A Space Odyssey" was found, and the city of Tanga, the former capital of what was once the colony of Tanganyika. And now, after the merging of the rich Zanzibar, it is still one of the major cities of Tanzania, a country economically poor but rich of great natural resources.
The land expands on an area of about four hectares and on the initiative of the young Abdallah Meshack Sekulamba, will host a mango plantation. A dream that Meshack has grown over time, while carrying on his activities as a painter and artist.
The plantation will not be intensive but managed with traditional methods and being "bio", avoiding any use of chemicals. The farm will be situated almost in the center of the area, in a flat zone. It is intended to have a dozen of young people who are joining this initiative.
The Studio Lauria supported immediately the dream of Meshack and gave shape to his ideas and to the ambitions of the young cooperative members. With the help of Skype and a continuous exchange of photos and drawings the project team led by Daniele Lauria arrived to the definition of the project for a house of about 160 square meters, also equipped with an outdoor kitchen, and two more buildings for the farm facility. The one that Meshack calls the "nursery", will serve for the incubation of young mango plants, the other will cover a storage area for the fruit harvest and directed to the internal market, including Zanzibar. These two buildings have an area of about 120 square meters each, and, in their architecture is inspired by the lemon groves of the Tuscan hills. Another "touch" of Tuscany is given by the composition of the openings, made by clay bricks, which recall those of the old farmhouses, a simple but useful technique to offer a good natural ventilation.
The design priorities were essentially two: designing elements that can be built, for techniques and materials, by the locals, and thinking in terms of livability, in a climate atmosphere that is challenging. So the three buildings have a roof almost "suspended" to ensure the shelter from the sun but also the most appropriate air circulation.
Sustainability was also the basic principle on designing the open space at the center of this small settlement: in addition to the well which will capture the water about 60 meters deep, the Studio Lauria proposes a redesign of bromelias, a kind of inverted umbrella able to provide shade and collect the rainwater. An intervention that recalls the project that Studio Lauria developed for the city of Belem in Brazil and for which he designed the "original" bromelia.