Nicaragua Kitchen Project

Mano Amiga Community Centre

In 2010, three architecture students took the initiative to organise, fundraise and complete this hands-on voluntary project in Nicaragua during their summer break.

The project was undertaken for a Community Centre called Mano Amiga, which runs various initiatives including a nutritional programme for local children.

The conditions provided a unique opportunity to bring the architectural process out of the detached office environment and onto site. Participation by the local community not only generated a valuable workforce but also instilled a strong sense pride and ownership over the scheme. Instead of using traditional architectural drawings, the design was developed and communicated through quick sketches, mock ups and lines scraped into the mud.

The result was a functional yet contemporary kitchen and flexible semi-exterior space. This has created a facility to prepare food for undernourished children, as well as raising the profile of the centre to support further community-led activities and initiatives.

Architecture, Humanitarian, Voluntary, Self-build