MyMangoHome: Let’s build a home for the street kids in Kampala with their help

The process of designing MyMangoHome, a home for the boys of KYDA, started at the beginning of 2014. The goal of TUgende is to create an architecture that belongs to the place, able to respond to the specifics of the context and to the needs of the inhabitants. The design porcess consisted of different phases: the analysis of other projects similar for assumptions and construction techniques; the study of the context and local architecture; the direct experience of the place; the development of the project, which has taken place in the continuous interaction with the KCCP students and with the local community.

Participation as a design method.

In March 2014 TUgende spent a month in Kawempe with the boys of KYDA and decided to pursue a program of recreational activities with the aim of approaching the boys, investigating their needs, habits, desires and at the same time of providing them with the tools to express their personal idea of home. This experience together with the revision of the data collected had been translated into architectural design.
The participation of the community in the design helps to create a project that responds to real needs as well as it develops a sense of belonging and responsibility that causes the “new” to be welcomed and respected.

The workshop has seen the succession of different phases:

Know each other. During the first meetings with the boys the activities ha the purpose to getting closer one to the other.
Analysis of the neighbourhood. Discovery of the district and the materials of which the slum is built.
Analysis of the context. Devising school and association premises, the perceived positive and critical aspects.
Design. Elaboration of a small project and its realization. Construction of a piece of furniture for the classroom, a shelf made up of as many compartments as the boys.
Sharing, the exhibition. Preparation of all the materials produced during the workshop and presentation to community leaders.

The project: sustainability and self-construction

The project comes from the on-site experience and from the constraints and assumptions we have set ourselves: the design of an architecture to be built in self-construction, a sustainable budget that assumes the use of local materials and techniques, the durability of the building which presupposes a daily care by users, driven by the fact of feeling the belonging to the place where they live.
With its shape, the new complex wants to represent a project of development of the local community that does not impose organizational models alien to the local culture but that avoids flattening on existing conditions.
The project area is a portion of land that the Saint Bernard Royal school has sold to the Association.
The project consists of: new rooms for the activities of the association which dialogue directly with the classrooms of the school, a dormitory building that also accommodates workshop spaces for children, a room for the teacher and guests, and a worship and meeting place for the community.