SMI - Living Room for a Children's Home
A 'living room' and outdoor facilities was planed for the children's home of the Congreation of the 'Esclavas de la Inmaculata Niña', located in San Martin Itunyoso, about 6 hours drive from Oaxaca. It was realized with 20 Students within 7 weeks.
The congregation take care of about 40 girls and boys coming from 'dysfunctional' families, that means, the father is not living in the villages, the mother hast to take care of the children, depending on an own small loan and irregular remittance of their husbands (if existing). Often, the children have some hours to walk to the school. The consequence is, that they don't go but help their mothers in the field. In the children's home, closed to the school, they live- and eat and play and can be children- during the week and spend the weekends mostly working at home.
The 'living room' is completing a compound of 4 sleeping pavilions and a dining room. As the climate is really harsh, there was no space for the children to play, make their homework, or have meetings. The sleeping pavilions are crowded and the dining room was too small for all children.
The analysis o the compound showed that the best place would be in the back of the existing buildings, including an old well and an existing brick cube, used for storage. The outdoor facilities should include play facilities, a school garden and a compost toilet.
The building and some of the play facilities where finished in 2008. The completion of the outdoor facilities as terraces, school garden and compost toilets where built in a second step in 2009, parallel to the DesignBuild project in Guadalupe Miramar, some hours drive away.
The climate in San Martin is harsh all over the year because of the altitude (ca. 3000 over sea ground)
At 16:00 in the afternoon, cold winds and massive fog pressure the village. The new building had to be insulated against these conditions and had to be resistant against rainfalls and seismic activities.
As wood was available as a locally use building material, we decided to develop a platform frame system, insulated with onsite fabricated light clay elements. The advantage was, that the frames and insulations could be produced parallel to the time absorbing foundation work.
The two different parts of the building where reflected in two different types of wall structure: the entrance-part got an interior finish of white painted triply boards, the back part, a little elevated, got a clay plaster as finish. A stabilizing diagonal cladding and triply boards, a ring beam ensemble of three layers, the reinforced foundation, secure structural stability in case of an earthquake.
The windows where fabricated by a local metal worker and completed with big wooden frames that can be used as well to sit an play. The roof is insulated with styropor boards, achieved in a handicraft shop. The impermeable red plastic sheet is table cloth, bought in the market. The beams where ensemble, as wood is juts available in a length of 2,50 m.