The African Building Platform

Spotlight

The Nomadic Library

Amanuel Bogale & Nahom Atakilt
Competitions Archi 2023, Tiny Library Category, Honorable Mention
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Afar, Ethiopia is a region known for its rugged and dramatic landscapes, including the Danakil Depression, one of the hottest and driest places on the planet. The region is also home to the Afar people, who are known for their nomadic lifestyles. Due to its remote location and harsh living conditions, the Afar region has one of the highest illiteracy rates in Ethiopia. According to a report by UNESCO, the adult literacy rate in the Afar region is only 18%, which is far below the national average of 49%. This can be attributed to limited access to educational resources, poverty, and cultural beliefs that prioritize traditional pastoralist practices over education.


The architectural concept for this tiny library is inspired by the nomadic lifestyle of the Afar people. The library is designed to be carried by camels, making it easy for it to reach even the most remote parts of the desert. It can be built in phases, with its simple yet practical design making it easy to add new elements as required. The project also makes use of degradable sand walls that can host functions such as shelves and seating. Once the inhabitants leave the space, the walls will naturally bio-degrade, and mix to the ground leaving no lasting impact on the environment. Its phase-based development also makes it convenient for the users to gradually assemble the whole library starting from its basic functional unit.

Site Plan. A.Entrance B.Library Space C.Water Shade D.Interior Courtyard
Plan A. Reception B. Main Reading Space C. Private Reading Space D. Homework Platform E. Composting Platform F. Storage G. Digital Pods H. Community Workspace I. Library Court Yard J. Cattle Water shed

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© July, 2024 Ketema Journal

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