This school in Rwanda designed by Boston based Non Profit Architecture firm (Do these kind exist….feels like Angel land) MASS Design group epitomizes what the Architecture profession should be about. As Architects with our skills we must serve the community and make it possible to create beauty and comfort even on a budget.
The key word is the desire to “INNOVATE” which can be tiresome and grueling and would require hours of precious time delving, going down paths that may not bring in the results, not to mention risking saying “no” to lucrative opportunities that would bring the much needed cash-flow to sustain firms.
Very often as Architects we Innovate for a cause only when our calendars are free and there is not much happening in the pipe line….probably there-in lies the truth “Adversity is the Mother of Discovery” or we Innovate on high budget projects where we can throw in the most sophisticated materials making us look like Michael Angelos where in the genius there lay in the beauty of the rich materials.
This firm has spent quality time and effort ensuring a group of children in a remote area of Africa also received a piece of beauty and comfort and sheer delight.
The MASS team not only repaired the existing structure that had classrooms oriented without any regard to sun paths and were extremely hot, but also added classrooms, positioning them to minimize direct sunlight while creating a series of small courtyards and outdoor play areas. These spaces can simultaneously accommodate separate groups—boys, girls, young kids, older kids—and also serve specific functions. One contains a maze, another a volleyball court. Some are just for sitting. Says the project’s lead designer, Patricia Gruits, “Seeing how many children are enjoying the equipment that was created for them is an overwhelming and joyous experience.”
More posts coming on similar Architects who were committed to the people, the communities and the environment they were living in.