A New School and Community Center

by TruexCullins, March 18, 2013

THE NEXT EARTHBAG CONSTRUCTION PROJECT
MANKHU VILLAGE FARM FOR WOMEN
This spring, TruexCullins architects are collaborating with Edge of Seven and The Mountain Fund to create a new Community Center specifically for women at the Mankhu Village Farm in rural Nepal. The center will be built using earthbag construction and will complement the existing programs at Mankhu Village Farm to offer women a safe and collaborative space for education and health.

Many women at Mankhu Village Farm have been victims of sex trafficking or domestic abuse, and, as a result, have nowhere to go. They possess valuable agricultural skills, but have been deprived of the opportunity to achieve independence from their own labor.

Known as “Her Farm”, this project will help women in these situations heal and develop the skills they need to live independently and support their children. The Community Center project will include 2 buildings: one will contain a classroom and computer lab; and the other will contain a health post and daycare center.

TruexCullins is donating design services for the Mankhu Village Farm. Architect Diantha Korzun and others in our office are supporting Edge of Seven and the team on the ground in Nepal.  For projects in the developing world like this one, architects still play a contributing role, but it is one which is substantially redefined from the western model.  Here, it is less about pure design or individual style, and more about engaging local communities, working within vernacular aesthetics and finding creative solutions to practical problems.

For example, the buildings are designed so they can be easily replicated in other villages, built by local Nepalese people who may not possess construction skills. Local materials are relied upon, which influences the design of everything from the structural connections to the interior finishes.

The building itself is modest by American standards, but what it represents is huge.  We are excited to have the chance to work on such a unique and innovative solution to address a dire need.

The foundation for the adjacent residential building is now under construction:

Interested in supporting this work in Nepal?  You can donate now on our Crowdrise site at www.crowdrise.com/truexcullins-nepal

And stay tuned for more adventures related to our work with Edge of Seven!

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