„Atispatari“ in Asháninka - the language of the native citizens of Sondoveni - means „together“ or „corporate“. A concept which is of much greater significance in the rain forest than in our so often impersonal society. However, a long preparation and consideration phase undertaken in cooperation with the student group ConstruyeIdentidad of the University PUCP in Lima, Peru, the NGO of Creciendo and the inhabitants of the native community Alto Sondoveni, in Peru, preceded the prelude of the project „Atispatari“. As a result, a group of students of the University of Stuttgart were able to participate at this demanding challenge in context of their architectural studies during the wintersemester 2013. The project „Atsipatari“ is the answer to a considerable deficit of education, that is affecting in a high level the rain forest regions of Peru due to a lack of financial means. The Peruvian NGO of „Creciendo“ under the direction of Gina Pezet is determined to improve this situation, working with native communities like Alto Sondoveni, a community of 60 families, 30 km away from the next bigger city called Satipo. The solution for th esituation was the idea of a new school building, that was intended as a vernacular architecture, using local ecological consztruction methods. It comprised six classrooms, a dining room, which can be used as a multifunctional space, a library as well as a sanitry unit. In coorperation with the student group ConstuyeIdentidad a social intervention started one year before the school construction, realizing participative workshops, meetings and expositions with the community of the Ashaninka.
The preparation phase of the project started in May 2013 and contained a first meeting with the Peruvian colaborators a visit of the construction site and the research of local conditions.
During a 2-month design phase 15 students from Stuttgart designed th new school building always in consultation with the Peruvian colaborators, investigating different materials, machines and tools. Additionally field trips and lectures were realized. In January 2013 started the development of construction details, the purchase of building material and the travel to Peru. During the whole process the work of fundraising needed to be realized. The construction phase, that united all colaborators, Peruvian and German students, as well as the inhabitans of Sondoveni took six weeks and the school was inaugurated in March 2014.
The construction of the new school building was thought as a system of prefabricated wooden frames that are based on foundation concrete blocks and roofed with a traditional rafter roof construction, covered with local palm leaves.
The wooden frames were prepared close to the site and were lifted up later on their relative position. The facade of the building is covered with wooden sheets, the windows are planned as wooden flaps, that can be opened for cooling in different steps and offer a cheerful play in the facade. Large folding doors, made out of bamboo permits to open the library to the inner courtyard in a generous way. The roof construction was also designed as a prefabricated system of wooden beams, that are later covered with palm leaves, using a traditional technique of the Ashaninka community.
In the kitchen a large cooking block was built up from earthen bricks according to the instructions of the „Cocina mejoradas“, which is an improved cooking place with smoke reduction that can easily be built by individuals according to instructions provided by the Peruvian government.
A water pipe coming from the village fills the new water tank using a water pump powered by a solar panel. The water then runs through a drinking water filter to the kitchen and continues to the sanitary unit comprising showers and washbasins. The toilets are constructed as compost toilets. An additional area for composting is provided in an embankment with supporting walls and a base of reinforced concrete.
The work on the construction site was organized in different teams of students, working in different activities (logistic, main construction, facade, floor, kitchen, bathroom etc.) according to the design. Each group was formed by Peruvian and German students. This intercultural and interdisciplinary work needed a lot of comprehension from both sides, as well as fast group decisions in the moment of conflicts or problems at the construction site.
The co-working process also included the members of the Askaninka community, supporting with their local knowledge and talent for local construction methods. Thanks to this process every student and every collaborator earned new perspectives of mutual knowledge, as well as an exchange of important information, that will be valuable for future projects.