Kyambura - Savannah Banda's
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Kyambura - Savannah Banda's, Uganda.

Situated on the periphery of Queen Elizabeth National Park in South West Uganda, the Savannah Banda’s form the second phase development of Kyambura Gorge Lodge, a newly completed eco tourism venture focusing on wildlife conservation, wetlands restoration and community engaged design process.

The Savannah Banda’s are constructed from locally fired bricks, sourced from a number of local communities, each have differing colors, textures and forms. The four Bandas explore A series of poetic concepts through brick construction techniques.

Exploring the relationship between architecture and landscape, the first Banda draws the panoramic view of the national park and Ruwenzori Mountains through the building via a virtual scenographic projection. Mapped through the color differentiation of four brick types, the foreground, middle ground and back ground are pulled through the building as a series of vertical lines registered through the definition of exterior and interior brickwork.

The Banda roofs are conceived of as oversized shading devices, disconnected from the walls supported by their own structure. They are composed in sequence, like a flock of birds frozen in a moment of flight. The roofs are clad using recycled corrugated iron, collected from surrounding villages in a new for old roof exchange program providing new roofs for schools and local families. The rusty iron sheets are laid across the roof planes like a patchwork quilt providing a tangible connection to the social fabric of the surrounding communities.

Varying brick types, local timbers, bamboo and reeds are combined to create complex material expression. Raw natural materials are preferenced for textured surface qualities creating a backdrop for found and salvaged objects. Luggage trunks made from recycled metal, bedside tables from roadside shop signs and old chairs, have been mended anew, leaving traces of previous use and lives. Remnants of fabrics found in local markets are collaged together with end of line London high street fabrics sent to Africa for resale and distribution, to create bedspreads, curtains and pillow covers. Recycled hessian coffee sacks pay homage to the sites previous life as a coffee plantation, are patched and sewn together to create curtains.Each Banda is prescribed a colour tone inspired by the pastel coloured paints and mud washes common in contemporary Ugandan mud huts.

Inspired by the ingenuity of African ‘up-cycled’ objects, tools and knowhow, interiors were designed and assembled from a pastiche of found objects, furniture and materials. Nothing is wasted. All broken and discarded material, complete with imperfections and flaws, are utilized and expressed. Whilst such a strategy is sustainable by nature, the context from which it is generated is born from a necessity to source locally in remote regions with the intent of developing inclusive interior design processes informed by local Ugandan skillsets.

Project Team: Ross Langdon, Campbell Drake, Llatzer Planas.