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Typologies Under a Roof

A Modular Vernacular-based Strategy for Participatory Placemaking.

The project explores the concept of place-making through a modular approach inspired by the periodic table and Gana's cultural richness. Typologies under a Roof celebrate diversity in form, offering a space where various shapes coexist, and the community can actively participate in shaping the environment.

The design incorporates a Roof-first Strategy for quick protection, a grid-based site topology for organization, and an ecological construction approach using rammed earth, bamboo, and straw.

Spatial equity is emphasized, fostering learning in both indoor and outdoor areas, with additional cultural and creative spaces to enhance community engagement.

The Table of elements for place-making The periodic table is an exemplary presentation of how a limited number of elements can produce infinite possibilities, based on various assemblages. Similarly, with a limited, modular, and adaptable list of modules, possibilities open up, with an organizational structure that brings them together. Typologies under a roof Gana is culturally rich with tribal and vernacular architecture, art, patterns, and form. Abstracting this idea, the modules, while fitting in the grid rectangles, produce different forms, circles, squares, rectangles ellipses, etc. Typologies under a Roof is an attempt to celebrate diversity of form, under one homogeneous roof, a space where all forms are preserved, yet brought together to create a rich space of diversity. This is not a building In fact, this is one of the options. Using the spatial layout, and the modules proposed, an infinite number of solutions is possible. The community can participate and make collective decisions on how they would like it to be! Phasing: Roof-first Strategy In a classical construction site, a small container office is placed, the construction area is worked on, and the container is removed after the construction. The roof-first strategy brings together the construction space and the activated space under one shelter. Once the roof is built, the space under it can be simultaneously activated by open functions or by built spaces. It is the fastest way to provide a protected area. Grid Structural system Roof Walls and space activation Site Topology The existing building can be topologized using a rectangular grid, from there, the grid is applied to the whole site, and the existing building is dismantled into modules, creating a holistic approach, and internalizing the existing structure. The grid allows a clear spatial structure for modules to be organized in a tile-like manner. Material, construction, and vernacular The project shall be built by non-experts and the local community, with the support of technical matters. For that, the work brings together 3 very commonly used methods Walls: the walls are predominantly made of rammed earth. Structure: bamboo is used as the main element of the structural system. Pillars are created by bundles of vertical bamboo elements Beams as well, and create a simple truss system that holds the roof Simple rafters of bamboo along the short span support the roof The roof is made of compacted straw Both the rammed earth construction method and the use of straw in the roof are used based on prior experience using them by the residents and matching the existing classroom Spatial Equity Spatial equity is a vital aspect of the project. Thus learning is expanded over all the areas of the project, indoor and outdoor, celebrating learning by doing, and more importantly, learning by living. An extra indoor space has been added, four modules as a cultural and creative space to place music, make masks, paint, etc.



July 11, 2023





Firas Safieddine
Yimeng Wei
Krzysztoff Galant
Antonio Lopes

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