16/12/2019 – MUDI receives the Honorable Mention in Mozambique Preschool competition

MUDI has been awarded with the Honorable Mention for Archstorming “Mozambique Preschool Flor Da Manha” competition by a well-known jury of architects and local experts in childhood education. The design will help Assa, a Mozambican teacher, to build a center for children with disabilities affected by social exclusion, with the help of the Estamos Juntos Initiative and the NGO Somos del Mundo.

An embrace is a universal sign of love and affection, but sadly it is often what children with disabilities lack the most. MUDI applied this concept to the building’s layout, creating an enclosed space encircled by the volumes along the plot’s boundaries. The courtyard at the heart of the building is the core of the design, hence the name of the project: ‘Core-yard’.

Through the dismissal of conventional barriers and fences that could separate inside and outside world, the building results both ethically and physically open whilst it maintains children’s safety. The whole building’s envelope is activated: the exterior walls offer benches for the passers-by and a sequence of canopies to shelter from the rain or the sun; the main entrance of the school becomes an outdoor communal area carefully landscaped to allow visitors to stay close to their children without disrupting the school’s activities.

Regarding of construction, a modular system simplifies the structural calculations and the construction materials supply, but most of all, it accelerates the construction itself providing mostly standardized tasks for the workers. All the materials are locally sourced and all the construction techniques in use don’t require specialized labor which allows a participatory construction process with members of the local community.

The architecture – pitched roofs supported by wooden columns, shading brick walls, use of weaved straw partitions – is inspired by the local vernacular architecture, which aims at creating a familiar environment for the children where they can feel at home.