The violence and sexual abuse in Colombia are a growing problem, since the end of the 20th century. This growing has been related with two issues, the number one is been about the gradual growing of the cases and the second one with denounce, becoming this situation in something daily and evident. Then it has become one of the principal’s points at the agenda for public and private organizations either national or international.
With this background of uncertainty and gaps from the acts of the state come several organizations not part of this, and seeking support to the victims of violence and sexual abuse. One of these is the Association Home Kids for a New Planet, which currently supports and protects more than 200 children, and among other beneficiaries whose activities are conducted in facilities that have been adequate to provide a decent habitat for this population. The lack of resources, both financial and human did not allow an integral adaptation in the space they inhabit. To assist in achieving the minimum conditions on the suitability of this area we found the task of generating a sustainable architectural design.
This project seeks to contribute to the recognition and solution of this situation from a sustainable architectural design for the improvement of the Community of an NGO that works on the theme of violence and sexual abuse in children and adolescents.
Our school is Called ‘Asociación Hogar Niños por un Nuevo Planeta’ that will translate something like association home kids for a new planet, they are not only a school but they are also the home for this kids that are victims of sexual abuse, this non profit organization give them a home, food, school, and a lot of love, so they can learn how to grow happy and well.
As you can see this is a special type of school not only because the kids live there but also because the type of education is different, all of the kids go to public schools, but some of them have to take special classes given in the house (that’s why we called our school), because they had lived in the streets for a long time and haven´t learn to read or write or all of the other things proper of each age, so we have some classrooms destined for them, but also the most important thing they teach to the kids is how to recover the joy of living, cause some of the kids doesn’t want to live anymore because of the abuse they had suffer.
Knowing all this, we have set seven goals to achieve with this design. the first one is to full fill the desires of the kids, this kids want a new planet, one that is not corrupted and evil, and in order to get that kind of world we came to the guideline that this design has to be more than a project that fits the regulations and be a place for kids to develop happier and healthier, so we gave them spaces of recreation but also spaces of communication, polivalent spaces that can be used as a formal learning space or as an informal group of wisdom.
Other of the main goals was to downsize the water consumption, for this organization, the bills regarding water supply are almost 10% of the monthly budget, and we believe that getting a good system of water administration is a priority, so we got the idea of recling the water, from showers (set in the 2nd floor) and the laundry in the roof to be the supply of the WCs in the home, watering the green spaces that also help the enviroment, and we want to be self suficient in the water consumption, Bogotá is a city that has a hi percentage of rain all year long so we also want to use the rain water to supply the diferent aspects of the house, becaming a bit more sustainable.
The reduce space is clearly a critical point to resolve, we can’t build bigger spaces do to regulations, and the population of the project is getting bigger every day so we came with the idea of making spaces that works in more than one way, walls that are closets, ramps that are theaters, roof that are playgrounds, backyards that transform into dinning rooms, this kids have to be constrain in small spaces because the neiborgs don’t want them playing in the streets so we came up whit this idea that will bring them joy in different kinds of spaces.
We design thinking that kids need some privacy and a personal space, thats wy we separate the private places like bedrooms (in the second floor) from educational, recreational and social spaces, each one with it own zone, thinking also that materials should be more kids friendly, not only because they always manage to draw on the walls but also because the usual surfaces are hard an rough so we need soft surfaces like ballet floors that protect the kids form hurting themselves, or warmer spaces that alow kids to be seated on the floor with out getting seak.
Another goal was the possibility to develop the project in stages because not always there is the money to build the entire building, so they need the possibility of making parts of the project while they can also use it because if they start the hole project they will not have a space were the kids can live for a period of time.
We believe that all this goals will end in a more habitable and happy environment for the kids that deserve it.
Frontline/The World June 2008