Architecture for Humanity Design Contest Finalists

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Last week, Architecture for Humanity, the non-profit organization that was founded by Cameron Sinclair in 1999 to promote architectural and design solutions to global, social and humanitarian crises, announced the nine finalists in its most recent contest, an open international competition that challenged designers to create the perfect sporting field and facility in Somkhele, South Africa, an area with one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS in the world.

Design teams were asked to employ sustainable or local building materials and were to specify local labor to realize their design. Many of the finalists also specified recycled and local materials—one even implemented wind-generated power. Use of the roof for shade, ventilation, and rainwater collection was also a popular technique, as is the case with the project seen here, ... created by Steven Sanderson, Carmen Cham, Tyler Goss, and Leah Raintree of New York City. Projects were also required to include a field, sideline benches, and a small changing room, within a budget of $5,000 U.S.

The facility, which will be run by medical professionals from the Africa Center for Health and Population Studies, will serve as a gathering place for children between 9- and 14-years-old. It will also serve as the home for the first-ever girls' soccer league in the region. Additionally, the field will act as a place to distribute information about HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment; eventually, it will also function as a service point for mobile health care.

Final schemes are being presented via a traveling show that will visit schools, clinics and community gathering places throughout the Somkhele region. Local representatives and the newly formed Siyathemba (Zulu for "hope") girl's football team will select the winning entry later this month. (We'll keep you posted.) The chosen concept will be built in 2005 on land that has already been secured. ::Architecture for Humanity [by MO]

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"Share the Shelter", by Guy Lafranchi and Deitmar Panzenbock of Switzerland, integrates the concept of industrial ecology with bioregional design, executed by a multidisciplinary team that seek to network material, energy, and informational flows within a bio-geographical context at all scales of development. The result is an organic aggregation of parts that creates a humble yet compelling form.

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Through the electricity generated by the simple metal blades of two wind turbines, lighting allows for evening functions for both men and women, who may not have the opportunity to visit the facility during the day.