Our office in Cape Town is slowly emptying as our Design Fellows are moving to their project sites. January and February have seen Elisa moving to Botswana, Alma to Tanzania and Themba is leaving this week for Mokopane in Limpopo region of South Africa.
The Football for Hope program is moving forward with two new projects in Democratic Republic of Congo and Mauritania. Welcome to Oliver Kienzi and Ana Ramos our design fellows for these projects!
Here are some updates from Botswana. More to come.
Elisa Engel, the Design Fellow responsible for the Ramotswa Football for Hope Center is at the moment in Gaborone as she is working with the local consultants before relocating to site in Ramotswa. She is working closely with the community to create an inspiring center reflecting the center host vision.
The new L-shaped building creates a courtyard out of the existing garden. The building orientation and roof overhangs are carefully designed to minimize overheating during the summer months while maximizing solar gain during the cool winter months. A number of shaded outdoors areas will be created to take advantage of the environment and climate.
The design proposes the use of materials that are long-lasting, robust, local and that create the most comfortable indoor environment possible.The walls are proposed to be made of locally produced brick or Kgaligadi Sand Blocks, developed by the Botswana Technology Centre.
Ramotswa is a small town but a district capital. The climate is semi arid, very hot in summer, easily reaching 40 Celcius, with rain in the Summer. It gets hotter than Joburg, with almost as much rain as London, however condensed into very heavy seasonal downpours. That part of Botswana (southeast) has a Tree Savanna vegetation: Elisa was surprised to see how varied the vegetation was–beautiful trees. Elisa noted how great it would be to raise funding to reforest the site, especially considering the threat of erosion.
The first and only woman chief in Botswana presides in Ramotswa. A formidable woman, Elisa was excited to meet her. Botswana carries a tradition of large-scale settlements. For instance, Tswana towns cluster descendent families around meeting squares, creating many layers to spacemaking in the culture.
(It might be worth noting that Botswana is home to around 2 million humans and 120,000 elephants. The elephants have a greater growth rate, but it should still take a couple thousand years to surpass people.)
Elisa comes from Germany but has lived in Swaziland for several years prior to her architectural studies. She studied architecture in Belfast and graduated in Architecture and Development Practices from Oxford Brookes University in 2004. Elisa worked in the UK for seven years with a focus on educational architecture and participatory design. Elisa is fully qualified and registered with the UK Architects' Registration Board. She is now on sabbatical while acting as a Design Fellow for Architecture for Humanity.
Elisa with the center host's team and beneficiaries
Street scene in Ramotswa
Plan of the center
View from the courtyard
More info on the Ramotswa Football for Hope Center Worldchanging page.