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Where Rwandan soil rises to meet the sky, divine light bridges the gap between heaven and earth and all come together as one. 

The chapel of the Crossing marks the meeting of God and mortal. Tutsi and Hutu; local and travel; all gathering together to celebrate the glory of the divine. 

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Jorejick House


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Form concept

 Family, land, and culture.     

Jorejick House sets out to provide the sheltering framework to maintain and cultivate the beautifully strong relationships the Jorejick’s hold to each other, their land and Tanzanian culture.

We begin with a simple circle, a form both embedded within African culture and traditions and globally symbolic of unity and togetherness. By extruding the circle upwards we begin to shape a habitable volume. Water is scarce in the region, yet so crucial to sustaining human life: a well is carved at the heart of the circle, roofs sloping inward to collect and filter water with ease. At this stage all living creatures of the former mud hut share still share the one volume – spatial divisions must be made to elevate way of life. Even on a such a small-scale efficient spatial division can occur not only horizontally but up: each space requires a roof – by stacking spaces we eliminate the roof required from the space below. Envisioned is a simple circular form that spirals around, up and over to accommodate all spatial functions and levels of enclosure: from outwardly open yet soundly sheltered shared porch; into secured, welcoming internal family gathering and cooking; beyond to the private parent and guest bedrooms; and up to the children’s floor where sleep, study and play may abound.

This spiralised form is rife with practical and functional purpose. The roof sails up over the living space to reach double height at the cooking station – facilitating steady smoke ventilation out of the protected gap between wall and roofing. An array of operable windows combined with sheltered openings lining the wall top and well allow for cross ventilation in all directions: a breathable space to keep humidity at bay. With circulation lining the central well and a radial array of bedrooms out liveable space is maximised, resulting in beautiful rooms that open out upon entry between built-in cupboards to integrate twin beds and a central desk; filled with natural light from the simply-constructed twin shutter windows gazing out across the landscape. The up-most bedroom looks across toward the site entry – an excellent look out for a responsible member of the younger generation. As the ground level spaces likewise open out towards the exterior the strong connection the family holds toward the land can be maintained: though a filtered veil of bricks in the living spaces, and fully engaging the landscape from the shelter of the porch as the bricks erode away on either side. The bricks themselves stand as a grounding, sentimental element: formed by hand by the Jorejick’s themselves out of the same clay used to clad the old mud huts, the bricks serve as testament to their hard work, and a sturdy reminder of how far the family has come. The upper level subsequently reminisces new life springing from the sturdy central ‘tree trunk’ – lightweight timber branching out and wrapping the new generation in a soft, warm embrace as they forge their way toward higher education.

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