AU dormitory

The dormitory for students from various countries in Sub-Saharan Africa is
located in Uganda.
Right on the equator and high above sea level, it offers a comfortable climate,
so walls lie in east and west side to keep sunlight out and windows lie in south and north side to bring light and wind into rooms.
In order to maximize local builders’ technique and character of local materials,
it used local bricks and timber as main materials in a simple composition.

AU dormitory is an educational and learning institution for African students who will be prepared for further education in other international institutions.

Location and composition

The site is located in “Yesu Amala” an residential area within Nansana town, Wakiso District about 100m off Hoima road and half an hour drive from Kampala City. The facility is closer to the bypass therefore very accessible with a good view towards west because of its hilly location.
The site which is Approx. 2000 ㎡ big and in a trapezoid shape is surrounded by roads in its three sides, calm residents, a local primary school and the community church. Those are mainly single-story buildings, but because of population growth in recent years, higher buildings have appeared closer to the site.

TERRAIN architects · AU dormitory
TERRAIN architects

The concept comprises two storied buildings (the boys’ and girls’ dormitories) and two other bungalows (administration and lecture room blocks) all rectangular in shape and randomly place to circle a courtyard. The conference/main hall and canteen/kitchen are all attached to the boys’ dormitory where as the staff/matron rooms are attached to the girls’ dormitory. A power/generator house, pit latrine and gatehouse attached to the main gate have also been provided. The nature of the surrounding facilities and rotational programs for students/users is a tedious process to implement and monitor. This has however not been forgotten and has been the rationale behind the rectangular shapes in design of the structures to provided easiness while operationalising the facility.

Each rectangular building has been provided with very wide windows on its north and south sides, having walls on its east and west sides, such that sufficient natural sun light, brightness and aeration can be adequately accessed without heat load by sunlight. Big and small outside spaces have also been provided to offer green, wind and natural light among others to create a conductive atmosphere for users and for a single reading space.

One of the featured material of this building is local bricks, which are gathered some places near the site. Well burnt clay bricks are major materials for all buildings in Uganda, but because of their uneven shapes and colors, they are usually covered by mortar and paint. In this project, bricks used are exposed and properly structured with reinforced concrete pillars and beams to offer beautiful colors. Iron sheets are used for roofing, with hardwood timber rafters and plywood ceilings. Because of its high sea level, it is hot in daytime but cold at night through out a year, this roof structure has been properly insulated to offer a comfortable and conducive atmosphere for the users. Rainwater collection and harvesting systems have been also set up in 2nd phase.

TERRAIN architects · AU dormitory
TERRAIN architects