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COB students design hurricane-resistant affordable cottages
Jan 5, 2016 - 1:02:43 PM

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Nassau, Bahamas - COB Architecture students, under the mentorship of Prof. Marga Jann, have designed some remarkable prototypical, sustainable, hurricane-resistant affordable cottages as part of a community service project for the Adventure Learning Camp in South Beach. Most of these COB students passed through the Adventure Learning Center as children and found it rewarding to return as adult architectural designers lending service to an organization they had so appreciated a decade ago.

In light of the recent hurricane, designs showed elevated structures that built on indigenous themes in new and creative ways, using rainwater harvesting, edible landscaping, anti-mosquito screen porches and windows, sturdy, stained concrete block structure, hurricane shutters and sliding protective doors, subdued traditional Bahamian colors, and cooling, protective vegetal walls.

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In an era when crime so often crowds headlines, these COB design students demonstrate that benevolence, philanthropy, and community service are alive and well. Students additionally found the design experience to be highly educational and culturally rewarding:

As SMPT Architecture student Terrinique Bullard states, "This project was an opportunity to not only help the community but to try our hand at redefining the 'Bahamian aesthetic' for architecture in this country." And classmate Kevaughn Ellison mentions that “This project brought about the realization for me that architecture in The Bahamas does not necessarily have to be tolerable or basic and that there is still room for younger architects.”

As Adventure Learning Camp Director Tim Seeley wrote the COB team, “On behalf of ALC&C, we would like to thank you for giving us the privilege of coming into your classroom and interacting with you and participating with you in this project. You all did an awesome job and the opportunity we had to meet you and get to know you a little better was truly a blessing for us.”

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As the Adventure Learning Camp/Center studies the designs for possible future implementation, it is hoped that builders at large throughout the hurricane-prone Caribbean will adopt some of the sound, sustainable design principles espoused in this noble COB initiative (see designs at http://www.cobsmpt.info/smpt-news/designsbyarchitecturestudents and below).

Other remarkable design initiatives at COB of recent have included an urban design study for Nassau with the Technical University of Vienna including Prof. Roland Krebs, The International Development Bank/Urban Lab, COB Lecturer Valaria Flax, Visiting COB Associate Professor Marga Jann and TU Vienna planning students who “set up shop” in COB’s architecture studios last term, in collaboration with COB design students, Chair Maria Oriakhi and Dean Carlton Watson. COB professors Henry Hepburn, Andre Braynen and colleagues continue development work on a full-fledged five-year professional BArch program for COB as the institution moves towards university status.

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