Client: SOS The Children, International
Site Area: 3.386m2
Team: Estrella de Andres, Borja Arellano, John Andrew
Photos: Javier Callejas, Urko Sánchez Architects
-Architecture for Social Gain 2015: Built Project - Merit Certificate.
-Archilovers: Best Project 2015.
-Archmarathon International: Mixed Tenure Housing & Buildings 2016 - Winner.
-AAK-Awards of Excellence in Architecture: Best Low Cost/Social Building Project, 2017 - First Prize.
-Aga Khan Awards for Architecture, 2019 - Shortlisted
Our most serious challenge here: a very small plot designated with a 15-house requirement. Located in Tadjourah, across the bay from Djibouti, the development was located on a site known for one of the hottest temperatures on earth.
With these conditions in mind, we decided that building the homes in a very local way – narrow streets that would shade one another, providing natural ventilation and corridors of wind flow – was the right way to go. In the end, what we did was develop and design a small village with open, pedestrian-only streets and playing fields for children and teenagers, almost an internal playground of gingerbread-house elements and slides. The houses in this village are closed to the outside; they look inwards, protecting residents from the elements, while providing privacy and excellent ventilation.