Community Centre Nicaragua
Community Centre Balgue, Isla Ometepe, Nicaragua. In 2008 I travelled across the Atlantic on a cargo boat and I spent 3 months travelling through Central America. As part of that journey, I volunteered on Finca Bona Fide, a Permaculture Centre on Isla Ometepe in Lake Nicaragua. Working with other volunteers and with the local community in Balgue, I prepared initial design drawings for a new Community Centre. Part of the design exploration was experimental construction with locally grown Guadua bamboo.
Over the last few decades, Nicaragua’s forests have all been destroyed so their traditional building material, timber, is no longer available to them. Many people build with imported cement but we wanted to work with locally grown and sustainable materials. On the farm, they have been growing many species of bamboo which grows easily and quickly in this climate. Already on the farm, a number of simple buildings have been built from smaller species of bamboo. We looked at working with larger species to achieve the greater spans required in the community centre. Attached are my sketches from some of our design explorations for the new centre.