Architects Without Borders-Oregon has begun working with the Q Center to develop a vision for a more welcoming and functional community space at its location on Portland's North Mississippi Ave. The non-profit Q Center provides services, information, referrals, classes, support groups, events, and a safe space for the LGBTQ community.
Located in Northeast Portland's King Neighborhood, this project is focused on redesigning the park adjoining the King Elementary School. AWB is collaborating with local organizations to research site use and history, conduct community design charettes, and create a design proposal. Current conceptual proposals include active space, nature immersion, and community gathering.
AWB-Oregon is developing a master plan for a 4-acre site for the Elman Peace & Human Rights Center in Mogadishu, Somalia. The plan brings together six EPHRC programs currently dispersed throughout this war-damaged city. Through its programs EPHRC provides services such as counseling, housing, and vocational training. AWB is also designing individual buildings at the site including a women's shelter, children's rehabilitation center, and vocational school.
AWB-Oregon is working with JOIN, a Portland non-profit organization, to design a facility where homeless people can store their possessions. During AWB's 2014 educational focus on homelessness issues, storage was identified as a critical need for people who want to engage in daily pursuits such as job interviews, personal hygiene, and securing social services. The project team is currently working on several design ideas addressing a variety of installation circumstances (church/host parking lots, vacant city lots, building interior spaces, etc.). Considerations include cost, availability of materials, ease of maintenance, staffing requirements, and aesthetics.
The 2010 earthquake in Haiti damaged thousands of structures, including a classroom building at the Bon Repos Orphanage, located in a suburb of Port-au-Prince. AWB-Oregon is working with The Good Shepherd Church of Boring, Oregon to repair this three-story building and perform a seismic upgrade. The work involves constructing a set of reinforced concrete shear walls to alleviate structural deficiencies, and moving damaged bearing walls to more structurally advantageous locations. In Spring 2014 an AWB volunteer from KPFF Consulting Engineers traveled to Haiti to work onsite with the Good Shepherd team, and another AWB volunteer trained local workers to lay concrete block. Work on the building's second story will begin in Fall 2014.
The city of Debre Birhan, Ethiopia, is experiencing rapid growth as people move from the countryside to the city. The Community Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a school to serve new residents living on the perimeter of this fast-growing city. Architects Without Borders – Oregon has supported this work with campus planning and building design assistance since 2014, working in collaboration with an Engineers Without Borders group in Portland, Maine. The first of five planned classroom buildings was completed in the summer of 2018, with four classrooms that now serve over 100 students. AWB-OR has produced drawings for the construction of a composting latrine building to serve the school and is currently updating the classroom building documents to incorporate lessons learned during construction of the first building.
For more information on the project, please visit: www.communityproject.org
Architects Without Borders – Oregon is helping to design sustainable schools in rural Nepal through a partnership with buildOn, a non-profit dedicated to bringing education to children in the poorest and most remote communities in the world. AWB-Oregon has worked with buildOn in the past to redesign a prototype school for Haiti, making the new school more structurally sound, better suited to the climate, and a better learning environment for the students. The success of this past project has led to the current work in Nepal. BuildOn has already constructed 101 schools in Nepal and is working with AWB-Oregon to make the next 100 schools even better. AWB-Oregon’s Nepal design consists of three classrooms, consistent with buildOn's program requirements, and will be constructed of reinforced concrete, masonry, steel joist and uPVC roofing. The new schools in Nepal will begin construction in early 2014.
The Minzoto School in Dungu, Democratic Republic of Congo, was destroyed in the devastation inflicted on that country by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Today, the Friends of Minzoto School have partnered with Architects Without Borders - Oregon in their effort to rebuild. The project aims to create new and refurbished classrooms, latrines, and hand washing stations for 537 students and their teachers.
Wahkiakum County (population 4,000) in rural Southwest Washington has turned to AWB for help with space and site planning for its Health & Human Services campus. Located in the county seat of Cathlamet, the campus consists of five buildings originally built for the State of Washington Forestry Department. Goals for the reconfigured spaces include grouping staff to support efficient work teams, organizing services for client-friendly delivery, and minimizing construction costs.
The Red Sweater Project, an Oregon-based non-profit organization, provides accessible, affordable secondary education to rural Tanzanians. AWB-Oregon is developing a master plan for a 15-acre site in Losirwa village where the Red Sweater Project has already built a classroom, kitchen, and latrine. Taking into account local resources, available materials, and existing infrastructure, AWB will help the organization conceptualize an entire campus including additional classrooms, a science building, dormitories and service buildings, and outdoor areas for recreation and agricultural instruction. Having a master plan will both aid in Red Sweater’s fundraising efforts and provide a framework for phased, sustainable growth as Mungere Secondary School enrolls additional students.