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Paicho Huts


Project name: Paicho Huts
Project location: Paicho, Gulu, Uganda

Northern Uganda is returning to peace and calm after over 20 years of war and conflict caused by the kony and his Lords Resistance Army.
Gulu is now a bustling and vibrant town with new trade and commerce springing in each corner. The suburbs on the outskirts however, are picking up slowly with people returning back to their homes to rebuild livelihoods that were shattered by the war.
Paicho, a few kilometers out of Gulu town is a local trading center and former IDP camp (Internally Displaced People’s camp). It used to have an army outpost and barrack which was meant to protect the people and repel the rebels.

The site
The site is characterized by flat expanses with scatter shrubs and trees, long savannah grass and mud-wattle grass-thatched huts. The former army barrack was a bare ground with tents and units for the soilders.
The people
The Acholi people of Paicho rear cattle and plant crops for food and trade in the nearby trading center.

The Concept
To catalyze the resettlement and rebuilding process of the community, the former army barrack area is to be developed into 3 giant huts with 2 sheds.
The huts are to accommodate a
- community hall for meetings, council debates, women group discussions,
- community clinic with a consultations room, treatment room and pharmacy to treat several diseases that are plaguing the area (such as malaria),
- a memorial gallery to record and showcase the history of the area.
The 2 sheds are to accommodate
- crop/fruit/vegetable market in one shed,
- Training enclosure in the other shed.
The radial layout and axes divide the site into a
- play court for children and events,
- market court for informal stalls and trading and
- agriculture court to have plots for planting and demonstration gardens

The Design
200 x 400 mm timber posts (of local Muvule tree) are inclined to create huts that are covered in long grass from the surrounding plains. Sections of the conical hut thatch roof are truncated to create a contemporary appeal while retaining the vernacular form of the hut.
The 3 huts have 1st floor deck that stretches across to create intimate 2.8m high ceiling and voids of 6m high. The deck has a bamboo railing.
The sheds are cover with corrugated sheet which sits on timber structure of inclined fins (of local Kalitunsi tree). The weave of the timber fins matches the weave of the long savanah grass reeds that are growing in the surroundings. The sheet roof collects water which is stored in the tank and can be used to irrigate the gardens and serve the facility. The sheets will also have solar panels on top to harness energy for the clinic and general lighting.
The entire structures are basic and so simple so that the local can provide the labour to construct the HUTS and SHEDS. The huts can be built in phases one after the other over a period of time. Support spaces can also be set up in the huts around the facility; similar to the homestead dwellings of the Acholi people

The proposed project finance.
The structural components of the HUTS and SHEDS can be funded through government and local NGOs. There are several organizations in the region already funding construction.
All materials and finishes are locally available. The people will provide the labour and skills for the construction.


gulu - kitgum Road

Competition Details

  • Name: Open Architecture Challenge: [UN]Restricted Access
  • Host: Architecture for Humanity
  • Type: Public
  • Registration Deadline: May 01 2012
  • Submission Deadline: June 01 2012
  • Entry Fee: $50 USD Professionals , $25 USD Students , $0 USD Dues paying Architecture for Humanity Chapter members , $0 USD Developing Nations
  • Award: More than $5,000 in prizes
  • Status: Concluded

The competition entry ID for this project is 13296.

Project Details

NAME: Paicho Huts
PROJECT LEAD: Andrew Amara
LOCATION: gulu - kitgum Road, Gulu, Uganda
START DATE: May 31, 2012
CURRENT PHASE: Design development
SIZE: 632 Unspecified
PROJECT TYPE: Health Clinic, Cultural Display, Community Center, Recreation Facility, Women’s Center, Youth Center
BENEFICIARIES: the locoal community in paicho

About Our Partners

Sponsorship Needed We're continuing our recruitment of individuals and organizations who are ready to accept the mission of sponsoring the complex yet rewarding task of successfully transforming previously conflicted sites into civic spaces. If you are ready to enlist your financial resources in service of this greater good, please call us at 415.963.3511 or contact us.