Social Housing in Cameroon, TAMassociati African masterplan development, Architect design images

Social Housing in Cameroon: 10,000 new units

14 September 2021

TAMassociati and Arup on display in the Italian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale

Design: TAMassociati with Arup

TAMassociati, Impact Design experts and the former curatorial team of the Italian pavilion in 2016, in Venice, and Arup, the planning, design and consultancy company promotor of a single multidisciplinary approach to the “Total Design” project, present a world preview of a new masterplan: 10,000 new units of Social Housing in Cameroon. A pilot project for future planning throughout the African continent.

Social Housing in Cameroon by TAMassociati

Cameroon Social Housing Masterplan

The new project by TAMassociati and Arup, one of the largest urban projects in the history of this African nation, will be exhibited in the section Global South, coordinated by Paola Ruotolo. This area of the exhibition will recount the experiences of Italian architects working alongside the international communities most exposed to climate change and its social consequences.

The “Les Pétales” masterplan, included in the Cameroonian government’s National Social Housing Program, aims to build 10,000 homes and 61 public buildings in six years to respond to the rapid population growth in urban areas and the lack of affordable housing. A pressure that is exploding, with all the related social imbalances, especially around the capital Yaoundé, where the housing shortage is growing steadily.

Social Housing in Cameroon by TAMassociati

The city is seen by millions of people as the only opportunity to improve their living conditions and access a higher level of services (health, education, work …),” explain the TAMassociati and Arup designers. “An expectation that for many remains unfulfilled and translates into a further deterioration in their quality of life. In this context, the problem of housing and access to housing is central.”

The development program is promoted by the Cameroon Ministry of Social Housing (Ministère de l’Habitat et du Développement Urbain – MINDHU), which envisages construction of further social housing projects to reach the goal of 1,000,000 new home units in the medium term across the country.

Social Housing in Cameroon by TAMassociati

The masterplan focuses on the pilot project in the vicinity of the city of Mbankomo, 20 km south of Yaoundé, and addresses crucial issues such as mobility, the presence of small businesses and craft workshops, food self-sufficiency, communal uses and family variability. And, obviously, access to the housing market, with a proposed development scheme that reflects the need to retain the original cultural references of the new urban populations.

The main design focus was in fact on the community, capable of self-organizing itself around small and familiar communal spaces, to avoid the eradication of its identity. Many of the morphological solutions adopted previously have failed to take this element into account, though it is crucial to a balanced social and community development.

Social Housing in Cameroon by TAMassociati

Care for the quality of the open and built spaces, a concern for infrastructures and construction efficiency are the basis of a design program that aims at social integration, sustainability, a sense of belonging. When fully operational, the new development will be able to accommodate 55,000 people.

Social Housing in Cameroon by TAMassociati and Arup on display in the Italian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale:
Italian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale

The objective of the masterplan is the creation of an authentic city, with a strong identity, balanced in the relationship between natural environment and people and respectful of the cultural heritage of agricultural and the rural origin of the new inhabitants. In the project, the main streets become, in the wake of local traditions, catalysts of urbanity and offer a variety of places to stimulate the local economy and craft activities, while the public buildings are positioned as magnets on the main pedestrian axes to create accessible and visible fronts, which will help promote a steady flow of commuters.

Social Housing in Cameroon by TAMassociati

The choices made by the designers are in harmony with the cultural, environmental and morphological context (which is also very complex), with close attention to the criteria for reducing the environmental impact and ecological footprint and triggering energy and resources for improving social spaces and services for the community. In this respect, the natural space will play on a leading part in the project, becoming an element to reconnect and redress the environmental balance between the urban territory and peri-urban areas. Another primary aim will be to provide economic support to the residents, favouring forms of agriculture to support the self-sustenance of the community and the growth of the local trade network.

Social Housing in Cameroon by TAMassociati

The whole program envisages a rich outdoor life, favoured by the flexibility, multi-functionality and multi-seasonality of the functions.

The very careful benchmarking with the best continental and European urban planning standards has made it possible to define urban planning facilities (health care, schools, cultural and commercial activities, etc.) that are innovative and closely tailored to the local dimension.

Social Housing in Cameroon by TAMassociati and Arup exhibition in Italian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale:
TAMassociati + Arup at Italian Pavilion Venice Architecture Biennale

This project is a great opportunity, because it explores the way to develop a new concept of social housing addressing some of the most urgent contemporary challenges for emerging countries, such as urbanization, social integration, sustainability and placemaking,” conclude the TAMassociati and Arup designers.

This constitutes a very high level response to the issues related to the urbanization of rural peri-urban areas, and can provide a frame of reference for future planning throughout the African continent.

Social Housing in Cameroon by TAMassociati

Photos of the Italian Pavilion by Andrea Avezzù courtesy la Biennale di Venezia

Social Housing in Cameroon by TAMassociati images / information received 140921

Location: Cameroon, West Africa

Another Cameroon architectural design on e-architect:

Clockwork Embassy – Swiss Embassy, Yaoundé, Cameroon
Design: Matteo Cainer Architects
Clockwork Embassy Cameroon building, Yaoundé
images from architects
Swiss Embassy Cameroon Building

Another African architectural design by TAMassociati on e-architect:

Salam Centre Sudan Surgery Building
Salam Cardiac Surgery Centre Sudan
photo : Marcello Bonfanti

Another architecture design by TAMassociati on e-architect:

Porta del Ticino – Urban Living Lab, Switzerland

African Buildings

West African Architecture

National Public Health Emergency Operations Center & Laboratory, Republic of the Gambia, West Africa
Design: IDOM
Emergency Treatment Centre Farato, Gambia building design
image courtesy of architects practice
Emergency Treatment Centre Farato, Gambia

Senegal Technology Park Building, near Dakar, Senegal, West Africa
Design: IDOM
Senegal Technology Park Building: IDOM
image courtesy of architects practice
Senegal Technology Park Building

Sipopo Congress Center, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
Design: Tabanlioglu Architects
Sipopo Congress Center

Calabar International Center, Nigeria
Design: Henning Larsen Architects
Calabar International Center

Recent African Architecture Designs

Mauritius Golf Estate Buildings, Abuja, Nigeria, western Africa
Design: Rodriguez Pons / Architects
Mauritius Golf Estate Club House in Abuja, Nigeria building
image courtesy of architects
Mauritius Golf Estate Buildings

Kingsway Tower, Ikoyi, Lagos, western Africa
Architects: SAOTA
Kingsway Tower Ikoyi Lagos
image courtesy of architects
Kingsway Tower, Ikoyi, Lagos

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