African Design Magazine April 2016 - Page 19

African project Ross Langdon Health Education Centre Ross Langdon was a young Australian architect who, together with his wife and unborn child, was amongst the victims of the Westgate Shopping Mall attacks in Nairobi, Kenya on Saturday, September 21, 2013. Ross envisioned the Health Education Centre as a small pavilion, entirely inward-looking and made of the most basic of building materials available in southern Uganda. Following his death, the client, the Cotton On Foundation, approached Uganda-based Studio FH Architects with the request to complete the design and help implement it as close as possible to the intentions of the originator. LEGACY IN UGANDA T he Ross Langdon Health Education Centre is a small community hall located in the village of Mannya in Rakai, South-western Uganda. It provides space for about 150 people, sitting on simple clay tile steps, and for a speaker, standing on a small elevated platform. Adjacent to the hall is a room for private meetings and a store. At the front is a walkway covered by a pergola providing shade for informal gatherings and relaxation. In his short career spanning across Australia, the UK and East Africa, Langdon left behind a multitude of designs, including the awardwinning Kyambura Lodge, all imaginatively tailored to location, climate, materials and users, and all driven by an inexhaustible passion for ‘Chameleon Architecture.’ The Health Education Centre was envisioned as a small pavilion, entirely inward-looking and made of the most basic of building materials available in Southern Uganda: eucalyptus poles as the main structure with clay brick infills and clay tile floors. There are no windows, and instead the building envelope filters light in various ways; perforations in the brickwork, a gap between walls and roof, a high-level roof vent with skylight and ‘Litres of Light’ illuminating the africandesignmagazine.com 19