16 abr. 2010

Centro Melaku / Melaku Center




Localización / Location: Mekelle, Etiopía (2009 - ... )
Arquitecto / Architect: Xavier Vilalta i Sabartés (http://www.xvstudio.com/
Enlaces / Links: e-architect

El Centro Melaku es una iniciativa de una fundación española para el desarrollo de un centro educativo y de trabajo en la ciudad de Mekelle, en Etiopía.
Se trata de una escuela de formación profesional con capacidad para 2000 jóvenes de 15 a 18 años.
El programa educativo, diseñado por uno de los mejores especialistas en formación de España, se organiza en dos cursos teórico-prácticos, siendo este aspecto un elemento importante en el desarrollo del proyecto arquitectónico.
El primer objetivo que se tuvo en cuenta desde el inicio del proyecto es que por el hecho de realizarse en el tercer mundo no debe disminuir la calidad arquitectónica y la innovación.
Mek'ele es la capital del Tigray, una región del norte de Etiopía. Mekelle está situado a 650 km al norte de la capital Addis Abeba y tiene 200,000 habitantes.
La obra (de 42.000 m2) se encuentra en las afueras de la ciudad, un lugar con muy buenas comunicaciones ya que está al lado de la Universidad Mekelle y el aeropuerto.
El desarrollo del proyecto permitió a sus autores indagar sobre la cultura africana local, descubriendo de esta manera un tema común en el arte y la arquitectura tradicional africana: el uso de la escala fractal.

The Melaku Center is an initiative of a Spanish foundation for developing an educational and working center in the city of Mekelle in Ethiopia. This is a vocational school where every year 2000 young people age of 15 to 18 years can learn crafts of various kinds and to be able to develop professional activity in their life.
The educational program, designed by one of the best specialists in educational training in Spain, is organized in two courses where lectures are combined with the practices, and this aspect is an important item in the entire architectural project. The first assumption that was taken into account from the start of the project is the fact that a school project in the third world should not assume diminish the architectural quality and innovation.
Mek’ele is the capital of Tigray, a region of north of Ethiopia. Mekelle is situated 650 km north of the capital Addis Ababa and have 200.000 inhabitants. The building site is situated on the outskirts of the city, a place with a very good communications since it is next the Mekelle University and the airport.
The size of the building site is 42000 m2, equivalent to 3 Eixample streets in Barcelona, which measure 120 by 120 meters.
Thinking of the strategy of the project we investigated about the local African culture. We discovered by different sources that a common theme in most of traditional African architecture is the use of fractal scale.

TEXTO COMPLETO / FULL TEXT
El Centro Melaku es una iniciativa de una fundación española para el desarrollo de un centro educativo y de trabajo en la ciudad de Mekelle, en Etiopía.
Se trata de una escuela de formación profesional con capacidad para 2000 jóvenes de 15 a 18 años.
El programa educativo, diseñado por uno de los mejores especialistas en formación de España, se organiza en dos cursos teórico-prácticos, siendo este aspecto un elemento importante en el desarrollo del proyecto arquitectónico.
El primer objetivo que se tuvo en cuenta desde el inicio del proyecto es que por el hecho de realizarse en el tercer mundo no debe disminuir la calidad arquitectónica y la innovación.
Mek'ele es la capital del Tigray, una región del norte de Etiopía. Mekelle está situado a 650 km al norte de la capital Addis Abeba y tiene 200,000 habitantes.
La obra (de 42.000 m2) se encuentra en las afueras de la ciudad, un lugar con muy buenas comunicaciones ya que está al lado de la Universidad Mekelle y el aeropuerto.
El desarrollo del proyecto permitió a sus autores indagar sobre la cultura africana local, descubriendo de esta manera un tema común en el arte y la arquitectura tradicional africana: el uso de la escala fractal.
La geometría de la organización global del proyecto se basa en una malla hexagonal en la que se apoyan las diferentes aulas y servicios. Detrás de esta geometría está el deseo de llevar la cultura africana en la base del proyecto.

Las clases se organizan en pequeños grupos de 3 o 4 volúmenes que crean pequeños núcleos educativos. Cada volumen consta de 2 aulas de 40 alumnos de cada especialidad del centro.
Las especializaciones son: Contabilidad, Moda, Construcción, Carpintería, Herrería, Jardinería, Hostelería, Mantenimiento, Enfermería, Fisioterapia, Peluquería y Educación infantil.
Las aulas de prácticas complementan a las aulas especializadas y son de diferente tamaño. Las oficinas, salas de personal y la biblioteca se colocan al lado de la entrada principal del centro.
Los aseos se disponen en volúmenes independientes situados entre los diferentes centros educativos.
La escuela cuenta con una guardería para acoger a los hijos de las estudiantes que son madres, a niños del área que se está desarrollando cerca del Centro de Melaku y también servirá para que los estudiantes de educación infantil realicen las prácticas.
Cerca de la guardería hay una pequeña farmacia y un centro de atención primaria con objetivos similares.
El supermercado y la peluquería tiene un área de estacionamiento conectado a la calle.
Cerca del supermercado se ubicará una estación de servicio donde se ha confirmado que empresas automovilísticas multinacionales impartirán formación a los estudiantes del Centro de Melaku (actualmente no existen este tipo de prácticas para el oficio de mecánico en el país.)
En la esquina superior, en el oeste, habrá un pequeño hotel con 24 habitaciones donde se alojarán los voluntarios y los visitantes de Mekelle y un restaurante en el que se podrán degustar los platos cocinados por los estudiantes.
Estudiando el clima y la arquitectura vernácula de África, se llegó a la conclusión de que las circulaciones sólo podían ser al aire libre.

La circulación principal se extiende desde la entrada, a través del porche de los comedores, a la zona deportiva y las zona de prácticas.
La circulación secundaria da acceso a las aulas y a otras áreas de prácticas.
Existe una circulación de tercer nivel que permite crear sinergias entre los diferentes centros educativos.
El complejo está rodeado por un cerco de eucaliptos y también por los propios edificios.
En el interior, las zonas verdes integran especies locales que requieren poco mantenimiento y permitirán a los estudiantes realizar prácticas de jardinería y agrícolas dentro de las instalaciones.
El estudio constructivo del proyecto se ha hecho partiendo de una célula básica de 3 volúmenes unidos por porches. Mediante esta forma de organización todas las aulas cuentan con ventilación natural en ambos lados.
La estructura del edificio es de bloque de hormigón, modulándose todo el proyecto con respecto al bloque de 20x40 pulgadas.
La cubierta está hecha con vigas trianguladas de madera de eucalipto (en relación con la tradición local) para obtener una luz de 8 metros.
En la parte superior de esta estructura, se disponen terrazas ajardinadas que minimizan el impacto del edificio en el paisaje.
Por otra parte estas cubiertas recogen agua de lluvia y la conducen a una red de reservas naturales para su posterior reutilización en los jardines y aguas grises de los baños.
Sobre los porches una red de paneles solares producen energía para el centro y la ciudad de Mekelle, ya que la electricidad no es constante en el país y en cambio el sol es un recurso presente la mayoría de los días del año.
Este proyecto es un ejemplo de la utopía real.
El Centro de Melaku es un modelo de desarrollo sostenible en África, desde el diseño del proyecto al programa que contiene.
El proyecto es un ecosistema del conocimiento, el desarrollo y los recursos naturales.

0.-Intro
The Melaku Center is an initiative of a Spanish foundation for developing an educational and working center in the city of Mekelle in Ethiopia.
This is a vocational school where every year 2000 young people age of 15 to 18 years can learn crafts of various kinds and to be able to develop professional activity in their life.
The educational program, designed by one of the best specialists in educational training in Spain, is organized in two courses where lectures are combined with the practices, and this aspect is an important item in the entire architectural project.
In the same project are included some small branches of the companies, when the students once have studied two years at school can begin to develop their professional activity.
The first assumption that was taken into account from the start of the project is the fact that a school project in the third world should not assume diminish the architectural quality and innovation.
At the same time project, like every other of XVSTUDIO, is part of the research agenda of geometry, industrialization and sustainability.
The geometry as a way to adjust to the landscape, local culture and terrain conditions.
Industrialization as constructively XXI century, by specialized manufacturing processes and without scraps.
The sustainability by a combination of passive and active systems. Passive systems inherited from the local culture and logic of the project and active systems by integrating engineering into architecture is to be aggressive without the project, being part of the building and not an external element.

1.- Site
Mek’ele is the capital of Tigray, a region of north of Ethiopia. Mekelle is situated 650 km north of the capital Addis Ababa and have 200.000 inhabitants.
The building site is situated on the outskirts of the city, a place with a very good communications since it is next the Mekelle University and the airport.
The size of the building site is 42000 m2, equivalent to 3 Eixample streets in Barcelona, which measure 120 by 120 meters.
Because of these conditions, the first that we proposed was thinking of a general strategy of the project since the dimensions required. Actually, the first was to think of a piece of planning for a big city.
2.- The design
Thinking of the strategy of the project we investigated about the local African culture. We discovered by different sources that a common theme in most of traditional African architecture is the use of fractal scale.
We found in the tapestries and patterns where we see that small parts of a design resemling the largest, small parts of a structure tend to be similar to larger parts. Or in the construction of small towns where the houses are circular as the surrounding walls and streets as well.
Other types of geometries with angular forms are the streets of Cairo where we see a smaller area of the urban resembles the larger.
The aerial image of Mekelle gave us other information related to organization of volumes, parts of diferrent sizes that are available in a seemingly random field.
The geometry of the overall project organization is based on a hexagonal grid that supports the various measures of the classrooms and services.
The classrroms are organized in small groups of 3 or 4 volumes to create small educational cores.
Behind these forms is the desire to take the African culture at the base of the project.
Are African art patterns, fractal scale of planning by towns and cities and the organization seemingly random but actually organized by Cartesian parameters Tigray populations.
3.- Programme
The classrooms are located on the east side of the building site. Each volume contains 2 classroom of 40 students for each specialization of the center.
The different specializations are: Accounting, Clothing and Fashion, Construction, Carpentry, Blacksmithing, Gardening, Hospitality, Maintenance, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Barber and Early Chilhood Education.
The classrooms, where students can practice complement each speciality classrooms and are of different measures.

School services, offices, staff rooms and the library are placed beside the main entrance of the center. The dining room and kitchen will be the focus of every classroom.
The toilets are separate volumes between the different educational centers.
Inside the building is located a Nursery that serves the students who are mothers, the area that is developing near the Melaku Center and also to students of early childhood education that will make practices.
Near to the nursery there are a small pharmacy and a primary care center with similar goals of service to the neighbourhood and the city and an area of practice for students.
The supermarket and the hairdresser's shop have a parking area connected to the street.
Near to the supermarket will be a service station where a multinational automobile has confirmed that train students of Melaku Center, since currently there are no mechanical preparations in the country.
In the upper corner, in the west, there are a small hotel with 24 rooms where they stayed volunteers and visitors from Mekelle and its restaurant they will taste the dishes cooked by students with great food specialties of Tigray.
4.- Circulation
Understanding the climate and African vernacular architecture, outdoor spaces become the school corridors.
4.1.- The principal circulation runs from the entrance, through the porch of the dining rooms to the sports area and practice area.
4.2.- The secondary circulation for access to classrooms and other areas of practice.
4.3.- Circulation third level for a relationship between pieces. These smalls tours serve to create synergies between the different educational centres, including personal relationships.

5.- Landscape
The landscape is a relevant fact in this planning because the pieces of architecture this generously arranged.
The building site is enclosed by a fence of eucalyptus and also with the buildings themselves. Outside are located 3 zones open to the street, one at the entrance of the centre, other in the area of childcare, health centre and pharmacy and another parking for the hotel, supermarket and garage.
Inside, the centre green areas integrated local species that require little maintenance and students to engage in gardening and agriculture practices within the premises.
6.- Local construction systems
Once it was finished the general approach of the project I went to Ethiopia to discuss local constructions. During the visit, the missionary Angel Olaran guided us through the villages around Mekelle and Wukro where we could observe the traditional architecture of the region.
How are you saw the way buildings are built on land forming part of it. Its construction is based on load-bearing stone walls and covered with eucalyptus wood.
I was surprised how well built decks using ground cover based on layers of soil and animal droppings that are a perfect waterproofing of the rain while having a large thermal inertia.
7.- Building and Sustainability
The constructive study of the project we did from the basic cell of 3 volumes that are joined by the front porches.
This form of organization makes all classrooms have natural ventilation on both sides.
The building structure is concrete block bearing; therefore, the whole project is modulated with the block of 20x40 inches.
The coverer’s structure is made of eucalyptus wood by triangulated beams to get a distance of 8 meters.
On top of this structure, we place roof gardens that make the whole surface of the buildings and landscape and have the least impact on the landscape.
On the other hand these covers collect rain water and lead to a network of natural reservoirs for later reuse water for landscaping and grey water in toilets at school.
Above the porch is a network of solar panels to produce energy for the centre and the city of Mekelle because electricity is not constant in the country and change the sun is a resource present on most days year.
Conclusion
The Melaku Center is a real project that is currently being tendered and will begin construction within a month. Next year, some of these modules are already in operation since the actual shape of the project allowed to be built in phases.
This project is an example of the real utopia.
Doing small operations show our desire that the Melaku Center is a model for sustainable development in Africa, des of the project design to the program it contains.
The entire project is an ecosystem of knowledge, development and natural resources.

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