Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects was in the beginning of the year 2007 invited to design the TunaHAKI Centre in Moshi, Tanzania.
TunaHAKI Centre is a shelter for AIDS orphans and street children in Moshi, Tanzania. It was founded in 1998 by David and Mary Ryatula, and ever since they have saved the lives of many. The Centre provides each child with shelter, food, clothing, medical care, and ensures that each child attends school. It also encourages training in the arts, using acrobatics, dance, music and drama as life-saving tools. Through therapeutic arts training, the children gain self-esteem, learn cooperation skills, and they are able to form something many of them have never had: a family. All children at the Centre are also encouraged to develop their skills through vocational training.
TunaHAKI Foundation had purchased a piece of land to build a new and permanent home for the children, as well as a theater to help TunaHAKI continue the successful education in arts. Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects was chosen to design the new orphanage; The American office Armstrong + Cohen Architecture to design the theater part of the project.
The orphanage was to include dormitories for boys and girls, classroom, library and spaces for other familiar activities. The hierarchy of the architecture followed the local Tanzanian building tradition. The placement of the different houses on the orphanage site was influenced by the traditional house of Chagga people, who live on the Kilimanjaro region. The architectural challenge was to create an environment that is local and familiar to the children, emphasizing their insight of their own cultural characteristics, and at the same time modern, timeless and sustainable.
Environmental aspects were taken into consideration in every step of the design, including local building materials, waste management, rainwater collection, wind and solar energy, ecological sanitation with bio gas production from human waste, gray water treatment, natural ventilation through underground air ducts, etc. The buildings and technologies were designed to be low maintenance. Local manpower would have been used to promote the empowerment of the whole community.
For the children of TunaHAKI, whose future has been drastically endangered, we wanted to create an environment that would have been safe, sustainable and rooted to their own culture.
Unfortunately neither the orphanage nor the theater will be built due to reasons out of our control.
Hollmen Reuter Sandman architects