Four projects in each region receive an Acknowledgement prize. Wonjoon Han, Sookhee Yuk and Gahee Van from South Korea developed new architectural structures to enhance the viability of shea butter processing in Ghana. The team of TAMassociati from Italy is giving the African continent an artistic voice that will be heard around the world through their building for Maisha Film Labs in Kampala, Uganda. At the campus of the Miracle for Africa Foundation in Lilongwe, Malawi, Steven Holl from the USA proposes a new library to be built by the local workforce. Finally, Andrew Amara from Uganda is planning a new children’s department in the Center for Nodding Disease in Odek, Uganda.Read more »
The film training center in Kampala aims to empower a new generation of East African filmmakers, enabling them to see and narrate African experiences for a global audience. Maisha – meaning life in Kiswahili – is a non-profit organization dedicated to further the as-of-yet unrecognized East African film industry. Grounded in this mission, the building is designed as a series of open classrooms in a natural setting to foster discussion, learning, and contemplation. The building’s reduced material palette, consisting almost entirely of bricks produced from high-quality local clay, establishes an appropriate cinematic framework for a range of spatial sequences – an architecture with cinematic properties.
The jury found the project an impressive gesture of cultural empowerment that is also contextual, well positioned within the landscape and aesthetically inspiring. The program of a film lab was commended for its aspirational objective, namely, to encourage a next generation of East African filmmakers engaged in promoting the moving image as a regional art form in its own right. Though the stepped building and its pictorial series of views and spaces appeared convincing, the jury argued that the proposed brick technology might need to be partially reconsidered in view of more sustainable alternatives, which would be more compatible with the project’s primary objectives. This said, the design brilliantly foregrounds possible forms of interaction between the art of filmmaking and the art of building.
Ethical standards and social inclusion
Mira Nair created a not-for-profit organization, the Maisha Foundation, in 2004 to address the absence of a globally viable film industry in East Africa. Mira Nair says “If we don’t tell our stories, no one else will”, this is the reason why her mission is to empower visionary artists by giving them the tools to tell their stories in a global discourse; and establish the roots of a self-sustaining film industry in East Africa. Currently, all selected participants attend Maisha’s programs free of charge. Maisha Film Lab headquarters is a cultural, environmental and architectural project to see and narrate a new Africa.
Resource and environmental performance
In the area of Kampala there is an excellent production of bricks due to the presence of large amounts of clay and to the ease of finding combustible fuel for kilns. The bricks are hand made using kilns made on site. The project is inspired by the shape of the kilns and by the technology of brick, used for both the walls two types vaulted ceilings. In this way we want to promote local production and minimize the use of cement. Particular attention was paid to environmental sustainability. Beginning with the choice of the building materials: bricks. Material produced locally by local craftsmen. A special study has been done on the topic of natural ventilation of the building of Maisha School.
Contextual and aesthetic impact
The Maisha Film Labs headquarters lies on a hill in Kampala. Its proximity to Lake Victoria endows the area with an eye-catching panoramic view. The walking path, which develops in the garden, begins in childhood and unfolds through different stations in the evolution of the human being until the final transition, from which one can start again. It includes several functional activities of the school and reveals sights of cultural relevance, such as a cinema/theater, created using the slope of the land. The Maisha Film Labs headquarters is the heart of the project. It is a building made entirely of bricks and has a theater/terrace overlooking the landscape. It is the first and last stage on the living path. Symbolically, it represents the beginning and end of the human adventure.See more
A film training center in Kampala, Uganda enhances sustainability by using local materials and local artisans, as well …
Film training center for East Africa in Kampala, Uganda conceived as a cinematic series of spaces wrapped in brick and …
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