Adapting to the Heat: Integrating Healthcare, Communities + the Built Environment in Gao, Mali

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Adapting to the Heat: Integrating Healthcare, Communities + the Built Environment in Gao, Mali

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Title: Adapting to the Heat: Integrating Healthcare, Communities + the Built Environment in Gao, Mali
Author: Gaul, Eryn Anne
Abstract: After three consecutive years of insufficient rainfall and a decade of higher temperatures, West Africa is facing high urbanization rates due to lack of food and water, the result from the extreme climate. The Tamasheq, a nomadic tribe that spreads through the Saharan countries of Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Tchad, are exchanging nomadic lifestyles for small jobs in villages and towns, where the security of food and structure outweigh the diminishing thrill of following water through the desert. These floating populations are growing rapidly in cities such as Gao, Mali, which lies at the edge of the Niger River and Sahara desert. The Tamasheq, as well as other Sonrai and Fulani herders, are wary of permanent structures and their adaptation to the climate. However, Mali, as in many developing countries, feels a need for "modern" built environment that compares with changes worldwide. This thesis explores solutions that consider the transition from nomadic to sedentary architecture and culture, as well as how a community and its activities can interact within the built environment in relation to the heat. Instead of imposing a new and foreign architectural style, this thesis utilizes local materials, building techniques and an extensive knowledge of Northern Malian culture and daily activities to design a healthcare, educational and community space for the Tamasheq and Songhai people. As the Centre de Communaute (CSCOM or community health center) serves as a meeting and educational center for the quartier of Boulgoundie, this program of a clinic, maternity, mosque, market and health education facilities formalizes activities already taking place in and around an existing clinic while focusing on the personal adaptation of spaces throughout the day in relation to the climate, activities and materials.
Description: Thesis (Master's)--University of Washington, 2011
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1773/19752
Author requested restriction: No embargo

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