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Workspace Prototype for Mapia’s Extrativist Community

Mapia, Amazonas, Brazil. Ongoing, 2019-2023. In partnership with Estudio Flume.

Mapia economy revolves around sustainable, low-intensity certified logging, and therefore providing the timber for constructing locally modules causes no environmental impact. From Rio Branco, which is the closest largest city, one must drive five hours to Boca do Acre and from there take a ten hour boat ride to reach Mapia. Mobiliszsing construction materials to Mapia is a very expensive and difficult task. It is also a challenge to predict the varied levels of skills of the labour workers and the type and quality of the local timber available in these communities. Hence, the project minimises the use of components built off-site and creates enough tolerances within the structure to accommodate the local resources whilst meeting the minimum technical requirements. The proposed building consists of three key components: structure, substructure and joints: The timber structure follows a regular grid and supports the roof cover spanning above the interior spaces. The timber used for the structure can vary in section and type depending on availability. The timber substructure forms the enclosed areas and the fabric of the building. It consist of in-situ prefabricated timber frames with a screen made locally out of palm leaves. The substructure requires a higher level of precision to meet minimum space requirements, therefore the steel joints built off-site are designed to act as the interface between the less rigid structure and the substructure to absorb vertical, longitudinal and transversal tolerances.
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