Community Centre Nicaragua
Community Centre Balgue, Isla Ometepe, Nicaragua. In 2008 I travelled across the Atlantic on a cargo boat (which is another story) and I spent 3 months travelling through Central America. As part of that journey I worked for a month on Finca Bona Fide, which is a Permaculture Farm on Isla Ometepe in Lake Nicaragua. As part of my time on the farm I collaborated with other volunteers on the farm on design solutions for a new community centre in the local village: Balgue. Over the last few decades Nicaragua's forests have all been but destroyed so their traditional building material, timber, is no longer available to them. Many people build with imported cement but we wanted to work with locally grown and sustainable materials. On the farm they have been growing many species of bamboo which grows easily and quickly in this climate. Already on the farm a number of simple buildings have been built from  smaller species of bamboo. We looked at working with larger species to achieve the greater spans required in the community centre. Attached are my sketches from some of our design explorations for the new centre.