This community center is a two-storey building, with a seismic resistant bamboo structure standing on concrete foundations and covered by a palm thatch roof. It will host the new headquarters of the local association “Proyecto Eco-Emprende”.
The rural community of Convento is located around 30 km far from the Pacific coast of Ecuador, in Manabí province, just 40 km from the epicenter of April 2016 earthquake, which caused 670 casualties and substantial damage to numerous buildings. On December of the same year, the Convento Eco-Emprende project was created, aiming to improve living conditions of the local population through an educational approach.
The two-storey building is inspired by the traditional local casa manabita. It is built using only local materials: bamboo (Guadua Angustifolia), palm leaves and wooden boards. The ground level portico hosts a multi-functional space, closed on one side by a big kitchen where the typical manabita oven will be located. On the first floor, three bedrooms are connected with a big balcony that overlooks the Convento village. The seismic resistant structure was calculated according to the Ecuadorian Codes for Bamboo. The bracing system consists of compressed bamboo elements, while the first floor slab has rigid behavior thanks to triangulation.
The building will be completed in the beginning of 2019 by the members of the Convento Eco-Emprende group, with the help of some local construction workers, a couple of architects from Quito and the supervision of ing. Francesco Verzura.
Francesco Verzura, Ivan Cosentino
Services: Architectural design, structural engineering, and construction site management