Our friend Xavier Vilalta from Barcelona-based xvstudio sent us his new project: the Melaku Center. The Melaku Center will be new center of learning, working and projection for the inhabitants of Mek’ele, capital of the Tigray, a region of the north of Ethiopia.
The Melaku Center will be a reference model of sustainable development in Africa, from the design of the buildings to the program itself. The whole project will be a ecosystem of knowlegde, development and natural resources.
A common parameter in the traditional African architecture is the use of the fractal scale: small parts of the structure tend to be similar to the bigger ones, for example, the circular villages are made of circular houses. More description and images after the break.
The project master-plan geometry is based in a fractal hexagonal grid that holds the different sizes of classrooms and services. The classes are organized in small groups of three or four pieces that have the shape of a flower. Understanding the climate and the vernacular architecture of Ethiopia, the exterior spaces become the corridors of the school.
All the learning spaces have natural ventilation from both sides and the porch to access them holds the solar panels that will provide the school of electricity.
The landscape of the center will integrate local species and the students of the center will be the researchers and gardeners for the intermediate spaces.
All the buildings of the project hold a photovoltaic panel network that will provide the center of electricity. Some of the energy produced will be send to the city.
All the water from rain will be collected in natural collectors and this will be used for drainaged of the gardening and for services.