SOS Children’s Village In Djibouti || Urko Sanchez Architects

Dear Diary,

Djibouti is located in the Horn of Africa, which suffers from persistent droughts and severe scarcities. Urko Sanchez Architects were approached by SOS Kinderdorf to design a residential compound of 15 houses where to run their family-strengthening programmes.

SOS_Village_Djibouti_-_Roofs_(9)
© Javier Callejas

“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.

SOS_Village_Djibouti_-_Houses_(12)
© Javier Callejas

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.”

source Urko Sánchez Architects

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