The Monolith of Kasulo
The project is set in the in the city of Kolwezi, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A perforated landscape of artisanal mines, where people hide them selves by digging into private houses, searching at Cobalt, a material used in the production of batteries for electrical devices. A crafted architecture that exploit the landscape and try to help an economically affected community where rituals define space and where education will rise through the act of making, experiencing, imitating and reconnecting to materiality. A project that will originate from publicness and belongs to its community. A Monolith located in the Kasulo district, will be the concretization of a crafted public space, in an area of leftover. Spaces are defined and being defined by a process of cast and carve, blending boundaries between object and architecture and considering the construction phase as a workshop in it self. The video depict the extreme situation and landscape on which the Kasulo community has to deal. Depicting local skills and way of transmitting knowledge through the act of making and experiencing. The current situation is defined by an extreme landscape of artisenal mines where people hide them selves by digging into private houses, searching at Cobalt, a material used in the production of lithium-ion batteries, for electrical devices. Material digged by children young as 7 as well. Local rituals are still considered one of the main way of transmitting knowledge. An educational process though materisl and aesthetical communication, in a particolar time and place of cultural repression. Therefore conceiving rituals and community behaviour as spatial configuration. A Monolith located in the Kasulo district, where public spaces are not provided and are conceived as the leftover between solids and voids. Where dimensions and organization came from the urban grain, the project will be the concretization of a crafted public space in an area of leftover. By elevating the core of the building, shading and natural ventilation will be provided. Inside, axial connections from which steps became benches, enhance the gathering and involvement. A continuous transmission of knowledge in the ascent and descent, though the use of embodied patterns, symbols, narratives and patterns. The Monolith is made of compressed earth and sand based mortar, coated with a mud plaster which gives the building its sculpted look. The facades are decorated with palm sticks, called toron, that project from the surface, as readymade scaffolding for the construction ritual. Initially developed though the casting of the leftover mines, that will become the columns on which the structure will be supported and main circulation settled. An artisanal building in which interconnected vertical spaces could lead to educational journeys. Where construction is defined though a process of collecting, compacting and processing the leftover soil, already extracted from the mines. A time based process where the construction is conceived as a ritual in itself and where the community will gather and participate in both construction and celebration. Ending in a crafted architecture that will originate from publicness and belongs to its community.