- Location: Mozambique
- Year: 2013 -
- Client: Casas Melhoradas
- Size: Fase 1: 15m2. Fase 2: 60m2. Fase 3: 60m2. Fase 4: 200m2.
- Collaborators: Estamos, KADK - Dep. of Human Settlements.
- Financing: Tækker Group, Statens Kunstfond, Danmarks Nationalbanks Jubilæumsfond, Martha og Paul Kerrn-Jespersen Fonden, Dreyers Fond.
- Project team: Johan Mottelson, Jørgen Eskemose, Lagiya Khatib, Anna Wahlén, Margarida Waco.
- Contact: Johan Mottelson
Casas Melhoradas aims to develop new and improved residential typologies that enhance the use of space and infrastructure. To date, the project has built four prototypes, all of which are continuously testing the possibility of multi-story buildings in informal areas. These prototypes are thereby freeing up land for other purposes, including the re-establishment of public spaces, where children and people with few means spend a significant part of their lives. The dwellings are developed to be built by local entrepreneurs at a low cost and with locally-known technologies and construction techniques.
- To reduce poverty by creating a foundation for better and healthier housing conditions, especially by improving residents’ motivation to invest in house improvements once they have received rights and are not in danger of being evicted.
- To prevent poverty and marginalization by securing vulnerable residents in the informal area the right to stay and receive fair compensation in case of expropriation due to new infrastructure projects, e.g.
- To raise the knowledge level in the informal area, Maxaquene D, about the risks associated with a lack of rights and the way to get them.
The four completed prototypes (Casas Melhoradas phase 1-4) have explored different relevant aspects of the needs for housing in Maputo’s informal areas:
Phase 1 was built in 2014 in a low-income residential neighborhood near the city center of Maputo. The dwelling uses a simple construction system with locally made light pre-fab wooden elements transported to the building site by hand and quickly assembled. The house reinterprets the traditional Mozambican Case de Madeira e zinco (house of wood and zinc) but with an improved indoor climate. Locally sustainable sourced timber was used in the construction, and old car tires were used as pre-fab foundation elements. The house is raised above terrain and so less exposed to floods..
Phase 2 was built in 2015 and consisted of a light two-story wooden house resting on a heavy concrete plinth. The building was a further development of the construction system and production concept used in phase 1. The vertical outdoor areas between the house and the street create a social transition zone between inside and outside with space for cooking and interaction with passers-by. The rectangular volumes on the verandas contain gas stoves. The project explores how multi-story buildings can be integrated into the local socio-cultural context.
Phase 3 was built in 2016 and examined how an existing house made by sand-earth stone can be structurally strengthened to make an additional floor possible. The building was reinforced with vertical concrete pillars, which carry an added base in a light, wooden construction. As with phase 2, the building uses locally sourced wooden elements. New windows were added to the ground floor to improve the indoor climate. A gallery facing the private courtyard provides access to the new first floor’s two dwellings and creates an essential social space shielded from sun and rain.
Phase 4 consists of two two-story row houses, with the possibility of later adding a third floor. The dwellings are built with compressed earth blocks with a bit of cement to decrease their environmental footprint. The typology explores how high-density row houses can be integrated into the informal area and how a small social housing organization can be developed.
For more information, please visit www.casasmelhoradas.com.