CASA CONGO

CASA CONGO STARTED OFF INNOCENTLY ENOUGH AS A TRANQUIL FAMILY ESCAPE RETREAT PLATFORM, PERCHED ON A STEEP HILLSIDE WITH VIEW OF ONE OF MANY VOLCANOS IN NICARAGUA. A SHORT TREACHEROUS DISTANCE FROM MANAGUA CONNECTED BY A CURVY STEEP ROAD THAT CONFRONTS VEHICLES HEAD ON WITH QUESTIONABLE PASSAGE.

ROGER LEWITES ARCHITECT, MY PARTNER IN NICARAGUA, PUSHING BAMBOO AS THE LOW COST PLENTIFUL GREEN MATERIAL.

ROGER HOLDING MODEL WITH UNCLE SAUL STANDING ON FAMILY SITE.

VIEW FROM SITE

PLATFORM ON HILLSIDE

HYPERBOLIC BAMBOO STRUCTURE WITH GRASS ROOF

FLASH !!!! THIS LED TO A BEACH LOT OF ROGERS FAMILY IN ASTILLERO, A REMOTE FISHING AND SURFING VILLAGE ON THE PACIFIC COAST, A SHORT DISTANCE FROM THE ” SWISS CHEESE WHAT IF” DEVELOPMENT SITE.

SOL LEWITES, ROGER’S COLLEGE AGE SON, STUDYING ENGINEERING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLOMBIA IN VANCOUVER CANADA HAS A
CHALLENGING PLAN TO EDUCATE THE LOCAL COMMUNITY TO: SURF, LEARN ENGLISH, HAVE INSPIRATION LECTURES, MAKE SURFBOARDS, PROTECT NATURAL ENVIRONMENT, BEE HIVES, GROW FOOD, NATURAL COOKING , AND BUILDING WITH BAMBOO. SOLAR POWER, COLLECT AND RECYCLE WATER AND TRASH, HIS COLLEGE TEAM IN THE FIELD WITH HIM MADE UP OF BIOLOGIST, ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING, ANTHOLOGIST, INTERIOR DESIGNER ETC. ALL SURF LOVERS THAT LOVE THE COMMUNITY AND OUT TO HELP DURING THEIR VACATIONS.

THE WHOLE PLACE A THOW BACK, BUT AT THE SAME TIME SANE, PIGS EVERYWHERE DEVOURING ALL GARBAGE, THAT ARE SOLD AND PART OF THE DIET.
FISHING THE BIG THING, WITH THE NEIGHBOR HAVING 5 BOATS GOING OUT DAILY. SO HOW DOES THIS ALL COME HEAD TO HEAD WITH THE MODERN CIVILIZATION? A CURIOUS AND ATTRACTIVE COMMUNITY. FOR THE TOURIST SEARCHING FOR REALISM, BLOWN AWAY BY THE NAIVE TOWN AND FRIENDLY PEOPLE, BUT ALL VISITORS. WITH NO CONCEPT OF HOW IT IS TO BE A LOCAL.

I MEET A PLEASANT USA SIXTY FIVE SURF ADDICT LIVING WITH THE NATIVES . HE CLAIMING ANOTHER GRINGO, THE CURSE OF THE OCEAN FIGHTING OVER WAVES.

THANK GOODNESS THAT THE OCEAN IS A BIG PLACE.

THE PROGRAM FOR THE SITE: A SMALL 16 ROOM SURF HOTEL , PUBLIC RESTROOMS WITH SHOWERS, COOKING, DINNING, WORK SHOP, SALES AND RENTAL SHOP. SHAPING SURFBOARDS, LECTURES, TEACHING, JUICE BAR, GARDENING, BUILDING WITH BAMBOO, BOAT LAUNCH, AND BAKING OVEN.

THE OBJECTIVE TO SHOW THE LOCALS HOW THEY CAN DO THINGS ON THEIR OWN TO IMPROVE THE LIVES. THEY ALL HAVE TV, SO THEY HAVE AN IDEA OF WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE WORLD, BUT NOT THE TOOLS AND INSTRUCTION TO GET AHEAD.

I KEEP ESPOUSING MORALS AS THE BASIS FOR A SUCCESSFUL LIFE. WHEN THAT IS PLACE ONE CAN COPE AND CONTRIBUTE.

FIRST TRY, RANDOM HYPERBOLIC ROOFS

SECOND TRY 6’ METER GRID IMPOSED. MODEL BUILT OUT OF TOOTH PICKS

GETTING SERIOUS WITH LOCAL GRASS ROOF MODEL

MAIN ROAD ON LEFT RUNNING THROUGH TOWN AND PARALLEL TO THE OCEAN. PACIFIC OCEAN ON RIGHT

A TIGHT CITY LOT.

TWO STORY WITH MEZZANINE SIXTEEN ROOMS WITH OCEAN VIEWS HOTEL BLOCKS FACE A COURTYARD . ALLOWING VIEWS FROM OPEN SPACES ABUTTING THE ROAD. ENTRY, DINNING, LECTURE SPACE, WORKSHOPS ETC.

THE HOTEL BLOCKS, ON UPPER LEFT, HAVE ROOMS AND DOORS ETC. THE REST OF THE COMPLEX IS OPEN WITH A LOCAL GRASS HYPERBOLIC ROOFS OVERHEAD.

SOLAR PANELS WITH LOW POINT ROOF DRAINAGE THOUGH COLUMNS TO PONDS.

SECURITY IS A BIG THING IN NICARAGUA. THE LOCAL SCHOOL WAS ROBBED OF ALL THE DONATED NEW COMPUTERS AFTER BEING DELIVERED.
SO IF CHILDREN ARE ROBBED OF AN EDUCATION, YOU KNOW THE ALMIGHTY BUCK IS THE GOD.

EXCEPT FOR THE HOTEL BLOCKS, ALL IS OPEN ROOFED MODULARS. I DESIGNED SLIDING STORAGE CUBICLES THAT COULD BE OPENED OR CLOSED AND LOCKED TO THE CONCRETE SLAB.

ADJUSTABLE OPENINGS

OPEN STORAGE UNIT CAN REATE ROOMS

HOTEL MODULAR OF FOUR ROOMS WITH MEZZANINE LEVEL

VIEW FROM THE BEACH, BRIDGE CONNECT HOTEL WINGS SECOND LEVEL

VIEW FROM THE BEACH

PRACTICAL MATTERS SET IN AND THE SCHEME HAS BEEN REDUCED TO FOUR MODULARS TO START CONSTRUCTION. THE STRUCTURAL CONCEPT IS BAMBOO AT 40 CM TO CREATE HYPERBOLIC SHELL. THAT ACTS A THIN SHELL WARPED PLANE. THE LOCAL ENGINEER RECENTLY BAILING BECAUSE HE DID NOT HAVE A HYPERBOLIC PROGRAM FOR BAMBOO.

THE LOCAL BAMBOO CONTRACTOR ALL EXCITED TO BUILD AND KNOWS IT WILL BE STRONG. THE CONFLICT BETWEEN SO CALLED SOPHISTICATION AND BEING ABLE TO BUILD WITH YOUR HANDS. THE ENGINEER CLAIMING IT IS NOT CONCRETE. HE NOT GIVING CREDENCE TO BEING 10 TIMES LIGHTER AND THEREFORE NOT NEEDING THE HUGE STRENGTH NEEDED TO SPAN.

BUT FROM MY EMPIRICAL TESTS, IF THE JOINTS ARE STRONG, EVEN JUST PINNED, THIS IS VERY RIGID AND HAS ALL THE ADVANTAGES OF WARPED CURVATURE.

THE BAMBOO DELIVERED AND NOW BEING CURED IN THE LOCAL SALT FLATS.

THE STORAGE UNITS 2 METERS HIGH AND MATCH THE CONCRETE COLUMN HEIGHTS AND VISUALLY ACT A SPRING BOARD FOR THE HYPERBOLIC ROOFS.

THE STORAGE AND BATHROOM UNITS BUILT OUT OF VERTICAL BAMBOO AND CAN BE ARRANGED TO CREATE ENCLOSED CENTRAL SPACE WITH DOORS.

BESIDES THE CASA CONGO THE GROUP FROM CANADA IS FINANCING AND BUILDING OTHER CIVIC PROJECTS FOR THE TOWN.

A PROPOSAL FOR THE LOCAL SURFCLUB OF BATHROOMS, JUICE BAR, RENTAL COUNTER, STORAGE,
GYM, LECTURE SPACE. AND HANGING OUT AREA FOR GAZING AT THE OCEAN.

SPECTATORS SHADE SPACE FOR LOCAL FOOTBALL AND BASEBALL FIELD.

BASEBALL BACK STOP

BASEBALL BACK STOP

THE BEGINNING OF CASA CONGO, AND I WILL KEEP YOU INFORMED AS WE PROGRESS. THE BAMBOO ARRIVED AND MOST OF IT HAD TO BE SENT BACK, BECAUSE IT WAS NOT WHAT WAS ORDERED, A LOCAL ENGINEER PULLED OUT, UNUSUAL HEAVY RAINS, ILLNESS, REVAMPING A WAREHOUSE FOR GROUP LIVING, MONEY SCARCE ETC. ALL IN THE WORLD OF ADVENTURE BUILDING HANDS ON WITH A MATERIAL THAT HAS BEEN PASSED OVER IN THE WESTERN WORLD.

GLEN

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2 comments

    • HI ERIC,

      THANKS FOR THE COMMENT.
      I AM NOT SURE WHY ARCHITECTS IN GERNERAL ARE NOT TURNED ON BY HYPERBOLICS. IT IS SO MUCH FUN FOR THE VIEWER.
      THE PUBLIC IN GENERAL LIKES THE SHAPE, AND WITH THE STRAIGHT LINE CONSTRUCTION IT IS EASY TO BUILD.

      I AM WELL IN THE TROPICS, BUT WILL SHORTLY BE RETURNING TO JOSHUA TREE AND MY NEW PROJECT THERE WITH JOSHUA TREE RETREAT. A DIFFERENT LOOK THAN WHAT YOU ASSOICIALTE ME WITH, BUT ORGANIC.

      WISHING YOU THE BEST.

      GLEN

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