Jorejick Housing – Tanzania

Jorejick Housing – Tanzania

Getamock – Tanzania, 2020

Status: Competition entry, Shortlisted
In Collaboration with Karim Nader Studio

Every place tells a story. Between lakes Manyara and Enyasi, with mount Kilimanjaro majestically in the distance, being in Getamock tells the story of the vast landscape, the calm water bodies that bring life and the contained power of fire that gives the soil its particular shade of red. Surrounded by such remarkable nature, the location reminds us of our smallness in the universe and the duty of acting responsibly.

To make this house a home, we propose to plant an acacia in the middle of the site nearby the two existing huts and draw a circle around it. Within this circle we build four huts in the shape of two L’s that embrace a central court where the current generation of the Jorejick and the generations to come can enjoy the protective shade and the joy of late-night conversations, making music and singing along.

The circle is divided across a vertical north-south diameter that defines an eastern and a western semi-circle. The eastern L is the place for sleeping, studying and showering. It is raised from the floor for improved thermal insulation. The western L is the place for cooking, eating, and gathering, closer to the ground. The center is the place for enjoying being outside while being protected by the double embrace of the two semi-circles.

We propose to build on a regular grid of wood columns a series of wooden trusses sloped towards the outside that protect rammed earth walls in the internal parts of the house. The roofs are all finished with corrugated steel to ensure clean rainwater collection on all roofs. The underside of the roofs is insulated with traditional tapestries above the needed mosquito nets on all sleeping areas. All facades are completed by a series of fixed or pivoting wooden panels with thatch infills that allow to constantly reconfigure the house across varying seasons and temperatures.

In Tanzania, we don’t build higher than the tree. To mark our bowing to the natural environment, we will start by the tree and see it grow as time passes eventually surpassing the height of the house. Coming from the site entrance, we will use the old hut as a communal study area, pass through the house circle in-between the two L’s to reach the latrine area, Nico’s house, and the neighborhood beyond.

Text by Karim Nader