Solar Community Hub, AfricaImages1 / Information
Location Various locations across Africa
Status In production
Squire and Partners were approached by Computer Aid International to design a series of mobile units providing internet connectivity to communities without mains electricity. The unit currently used in eleven locations across Africa is based on a recycled shipping container with solar panels on the roof, containing refurbished computers donated from the UK. The practice was asked to design a more cost efficient, practical and enjoyable environment for the users.
The Solar Learning Lab is based on a simple modular system which can operate individually or as part of a group. Maximising the possible amount of openings – working within the limits of structural integrity – increases cross ventilation and natural light, and creates a shaded deck which expands the usable area and encourages integration with the existing community. A larger roof size allows for an increased number of solar panels.
Internally, a skin of plywood softens the working space and can be easily personalised by the users. Computer stations are relocated from the perimeter into a central bench, creating a more social and inclusive atmosphere. Areas have been designed specifically for potential sponsors of the programme alongside corporate social responsibility commitments.
Client Computer Aid International
Lighting Consultant Atrium
Services Hoare Lea
Structure AKT II