Mixture space combined with different roofs

"The Congo - Japan Complex" has built by "grass-root grant aid fund" of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Japan) in the area of Gombe Institute of Pedagogique, the city of Kinshasa, D.R. Congo.

D.R. Congo is the country in a rapid growth where a civil war finished several years ago. All the countries of the world started development support, and China invested a large amount of support on the current authorit because of the Richest of natural resource. Although it is well known that Japan provided the ODA in the 80s to build a huge bridge over the Congo river,nowadays Japan is in behind of the competition for international support in this country. Only government organizations like embassy and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) moves into action locally, however the private enterprises or NPOs have no appeared yet.
The Hironori Matsubara laboratory at Keio University designed and built "ACADEX primary school" in Kinshasa suburbs of D.R. Congo from 2008. This activity was paid much attention as a unique case of supporting Africa that was linked with educational exchange and made equal relationship between two nations. Matsubara lab. designed this "The Congo - Japan Complex" and ACADEX construction team built it with a small fund of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Japan.

The site is in a campus of the Gombe Institute of Pedagogigue of Gombe where a center district of Kinshasa city and the land was provided gratuitously from the university. The fund of Japan was used for only construction costs. The plan is 19m 19m and single story building. Semi-exterior penetrates the building and connects different roomsC training hall, classroom, office, tea ceremony room etc. This center is managed as an important node spreading out the Japanese Culture in D.R. Congo. Currently Japanese language classes are run in this building and students of Keio University and Gombe Institute of Pedagogigue are working together.
We built 43 sheets of RC wall-pillars (210mm of thickness, 2420mm of height, and 1050mm of width) and join thm with beams in the top. These beams become the drainage in the rain season. The wooden roof trussed with three different spans have same height. A semi-exterior corridor and the outside courtyard will become the important environmental buffer and the place where people gather in the dry season. This building looks simple from outside, however the inside space has more complicated impression because the interior and exterior space are coexiting.
This builing has no high specification and precision like other general ODA items because non-professional team received the construction order and built it with small budget (10 million Japanese Yen). Comparing with many other ODAs' cases which has high specification in Africa, this architecture has adequately low accuracy and bold atmosphere. We think that the good architecture is not the building merely has high accuracy but the building has the appropriate balance with the site where the building is located.



Project name: The Congo-Japan Complex
Design: Keio University SFC Hironori Matsubara Laboratory
Architect: Hironori MATSUBARA, Yoko TATEMOTO
Address: North area of Gombe Institute of Pedagogigue, Pere Boka avenue, area of Gombe, Kinshasa city, D.R. Congo
Total floor area: 271.3 sq. m
Design period: Dec 2011 C Mar 2012
Construction period: Mar 2012 –Mar 2013
Completion: Mar 2013
Construction: ACADEX local volunteer's construction team
Client: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Japan
Photographer: Tokyo Matsubara and Architects