New York-based Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects, in collaboration with Follow the Honey, National Beekeeping Supplies, and Nyuki Safari Company, have revealed designs for the Mizengo Pinda Asali & Nyuki Sanctuary in Dodoma, Tanzania. The grassroots-supported facility will provide a centralized hub for honey extraction, processing, and public sales, in addition to education for local villages on sustainable farming methods and resource management. The centre is set to become a bustling new community hive for Dodoma, and is envisioned as a case study of "how community-based resource management can stimulate return for all stakeholders and offer a means of economic independence to residents of rural communities."
The sanctuary is to be constructed in three phases, the first of which will contain spaces for education, honey harvesting, and a market. Sustainable and locally-sourced materials and labour will be used to create a highly functional structure that eases into the landscape and is visually continuous with its surroundings. Mud-fired bricks will be made on site and laid in a manner redolent of local weaving traditions, described by the architects as 'dimensional, textural, and interwoven'. Their arrangement will vary based on the ventilation requirements of internal programs. An elevated metal roof will rest atop the structure, allowing water catchment as well as passive ventilation and air circulation. The architects hope that the flexible building form can be altered over time to accommodate expansion of the sanctuary as needed.
The project is part of a broader initiative that seeks to foster local economic growth, while honoring the rich history of beekeeping in Tanzania. Combining a traditional practice with contemporary wildlife and land conservation guidelines, the center aims to encourage local industries without compromising cultural values. “Our shared vision is that the design of this building will bring a sense of dignity to the enterprise - a place where modern equipment and techniques blend with traditional methods," said Mark Gardner, principal of Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects. "An increase in beekeeping education programs offers local farmers and tribal groups the knowledge and skills to become more independent and self-reliant, providing an opportunity to improve their quality of life."
Construction on the first phase of the project is due to commence in late 2015.