AGUANO MUYUNA COMMUNITY CENTRE, PERU
The site tucked deep in the central Peru tropical jungle on the banks of the Rio Huallaga -a river tributary of the mighty Rio Amazon, in the small village of Aguano Muyuna, an hour down river from the city of Tarapoto, District of Chazuta in St Martins Province.
The brief called for a community centre and children’s playground in the heart of the village and on the banks of the Rio (river).
Being a village of 600 people all on subsistence living, there was minimal funds but great local natural resources to build in a traditional village style, of locally sawn logs, adobe -clay/mud bricks and plaster, and traditional thatching for the roof. The road is located across the Rio, and access is by boat only. The streets are grassed, with horses tethered nearby, alongside many community gardens of local produce. While there was not reticulated sewerage, water was fed from a spring into a small reservoir in the hills behind the village. The Rio was muddy, source of food -fishing (including piranha), transport, recreational and laundry.
The community centre brief required space for regular covered market stalls and flexible community space sheltered from the sun and the rain in the wet seasons, an enclosed community hall to include the mayoral office, child-medical care facilities and storage. This was designed around an open market square as the heart of the community on the edge of the grassed square fronting the rio and new playground. It gave the village a much needed focus and area for local villagers from up and down the rio, bartering, markets and recreation.
The children’s playground on the riverbank, also relied on locally sourced materials and labour. It was designed for adventuring, learning, enquiry and outlook as the parents looked on in the shade. In the wet season the Rio rises up to 6-7metres to the base of the structures.