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From women to women: Kwieco Shelter House by architects Hollmén – Reuter – Sandman
European Finland is in many ways very different from the African countries. The modus operandi of contemporary Finnish architecture has not escaped a global perspective, however – owing much to the devoted and persevering work by architects Saija Hollmén, Jenni Reuter and Helena Sandman. Finnisharchitecture.fi is proud to publish a set of fresh images of the first phase of their recent project, the Kwieco Shelter House for Women, which was completed in Moshi, Tanzania in May, 2015.
About the architectureAccording to the architects, the architecture of the Shelter House is designed to respect the Tanzanian culture, climate and spatial hierarchy. Local materials, renewable energies, local manpower and know-how are of importance, as well as participatory planning to ensure the feeling of shared ownership among the people.[caption id="attachment_2345" align="aligncenter" width="618"] KWIECO Shelter House, Moshi, Tanzania. Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects / Ukumbi NGO, 2015. Photo: Juha Ilonen.[/caption]In order to provide the clients of the Shelter with a safe environment for protection and healing, the Shelter is situated in the inner half of the plot, whereas the 2nd phase of the project will create a protecting volume for the Shelter. The design solutions are made to minimize environmental impacts, taking into account local conditions and making use of all possible resources.
Equal rights for all are the basis of developmentLarge covered open air areas allow natural ventilation and free air movement within the building, providing shade and protection from rain. Covered outdoor spaces are used for meetings and seminars. Roof windows provide daylight to the rooms, thus minimizing the need of electrical lightning during daytime. Glass tiles are made out of recycled bottles, to create ambiance and bring colorful light into the toilets. Water is heated using low tech solar heaters. The roof structure has an insulating layer between the corrugated iron roof and the ceiling. In some rooms the ceiling is made of banana leafs.The doors of the shelter have a metal frame with bamboo as surface material. The main gate refers to a culturally important habit among the Tanzanian women: a kanga skirt with a printed message is worn to deliver a subtle message to her friends of a guest. The Swahili words on the "kanga" of the main gate have the meaning: "Equal rights for all are the basis of development".[caption id="attachment_2350" align="aligncenter" width="618"] KWIECO Shelter House, Moshi, Tanzania. Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects / Ukumbi NGO, 2015. Photo: Juha Ilonen.[/caption][caption id="attachment_2352" align="aligncenter" width="618"] KWIECO Shelter House, Moshi, Tanzania. Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects / Ukumbi NGO, 2015. Photo: Juha Ilonen.[/caption]