The new Kasangati CHAT U House and Women’s Centre is designed to allow its occupants, including vulnerable children, their caregivers, and residents of the region, a more open, communal experience than their current property can provide. Sited on a large site in the middle of the town, the compact plan preserves most of the site open for gardening, reading, and play.
We have created three separate but connected buildings – consisting of a dining hall, women’s community centre and the living block – which are located around an existing tree. This organization creates a courtyard, which becomes a focal point around which the residents and visitors can gather.
Inspired by traditional buildings and materials, our goal is to connect occupants to their past, while helping foster their future. Extended rooflines shade exterior spaces and walkways, expanding the comfortable, habitable area to the outdoors. At the same time, window screens, thin plans, and the open-air fly roof are all passive strategies that create comfortable interior spaces via captured breezes and natural cooling, without having to rely on energy-intensive mechanical systems.
These communities are connected to our own through a continuous exchange of sharing and learning.