The kindergarten is part of a Permaculture-Education-Centre in Zimbabwe, and is conceived within this self-sufficiency philosophy: erected out of timber, thatch and stone this project provides children a playground to get acquainted with the principles of nature while implementing them in daily life. It's a pilot project of a sustainable way of building that will revive the region's local crafts and know-how. Founded on a stone base, timber was chosen for the main structure, as Zimbabwe is known for its forestry and the community supports tree plantation. Once completed, the wood structure will be covered by thatching as there is a strong tradition of technically excellent and beautifully thatched roofs in the country. Furthermore the traditional way of cutting the grass for thatching reduces the regions fire hazard, meanwhile performing well in low rainfall area where the climate can be harsh. Our aim is thus to rebuild this knowledge since it is vital for the over-all housing condition.
As both the thatching and the stone work are labor intensive, the craftsmen are getting a good share of the building budget. With these local techniques the project aims to build with a process that reinforces solidarity and team spirit, skills and knowledge, self-confidence and dignity. Due to the contexts climate and local conditions buildings, unless built in glass and steel, will not last forever, but it is essential that the know-how to maintain and rebuild them is kept alive and traded on to the following generations . This is why we see this project primarily as a training in advanced building techniques with existing materials that can become the compost of the kindergarten field`s one day.