Centre for Culture and Ecology Quiané II
Based upon the project Quiané Centre for Cultre and Ecology (link) phase 1 and a dialog with the local stakeholders we are preparing the next construction phase: A new group of students of architecture and civil engineering at the Munich University of Applied Sciences design and plan further buildings in coordination with the community and the local NGO CAMPO a.c., taking into account the existing buildings and the spatial concept of the master plan of phase 1. The focus lies on another larger auditorium or covered hall as well as the urgently needed rebuilding of the kitchen.
Every day a family cooks about 80 meals for 20 families. The existing kitchen is a roofed open fireplace run with wood, It is a health hazard for the cooks and the children as there is no smoke outlet. Cooking (the Mexican kitchen has the status of an immaterial world cultural heritage) is the union of culture and nature, the material that is produced from nature is transformed and converted into a cultural asset. The new cuisine thus becomes the symbol of the Center for Culture and Ecology.
For the students, the project offers the opportunity to test their previously purely academic strategies in and against reality.
The predecessor project was erected as a sleeperless, modular timber-frame construction. The outer walls are filled with unfired clay bricks or window elements. In the region, massive clay block construction with 40 cm thick walls is typical, optimal for the semi-arid climate and the cold nights.
In the second phase it will be examined whether the system will be adopted or adapted or whether other types of construction based on the use of clay and wood, such as rammed earth, solid adobe building or bajareque will be chosen.
Decisions for the selection will be the appropriateness in relation to the concept, the time and cost frame, and the acceptance of the clients.
loadbearing structure of the hall
The structure supporting the auditorium roof comprises six double trusses and is a made entirely of wood. It was designed so as to allow the individual parts to be constructed and prepared on the ground so that only the assembly work needed to be performed up high.
The process of assembling the structure was nonetheless extremely challenging. The trusses at the front of the building are held in place by V-shaped supports, while those at the rear rest on a timber frame construction that houses the storage rooms. Because the two outer trusses have a far greater load to carry than the four in the middle, two different truss types were used. The outer trusses feature a lattice design while the middle trusses have no bottom chord (so as to offer greater ceiling height).
foundation and formwork
With a project like this, you need to constantly monitor costs and sustainability.
In this context it was decided that the formwork elements for the plinths would be used multiple times. To this end, the students created detailed, formwork plans for the kitchen, auditorium and gallery plinths, outlining which elements could be used multiple times and in which areas.
They then constructed the formwork elements on site, brushing them with formwork oil (sunflower oil) to ensure that they could be easily detached from the concrete, and erected them as designated. After completing the concreting process, they carefully removed and cleaned the formwork. The formwork for the auditorium was constructed using the formwork elements used for the kitchen, plus a few additional elements. The moisture in the concrete had caused warping in a few of the already used boards, which the students rectified with the aid of additional nails. After oiling the boards, the students got the formwork ready for concreting the auditorium plinth.
After concreting the kitchen and auditorium, the students turned their attention to creating the spot footings for the gallery. For this, they again cleaned the formwork, then dismantled and rebuilt it, adapting it to the smaller column footings. By this point the condition of the boards had deteriorated significantly. While additional nails and screws initially counteracted the problem well, the students eventually had to resort to tensioning belts and screw clamps, and put in a night shift, to complete the final plinths.
Merging three proposals from a second preliminary design round to a singel one, we are sure to follow a straight concept, interpreting the master plan and elaborating the kitchen-building, a new hall and the in-between spaces.
Four proposals developed different approaches of the second phase of the Quiané Centre for Culture and Ecology based on the existing master plan and buildings and in communication with the local stakeholders.
Three different concepts were choosen to be developed further. One main concept will serve as master plan, incorporating solutions from the others. Based on this master plan, the buildings to be executed in February will be designed and calculated in the next weeks.