5. Slowly changing skin

The houses in the 7 macuti bairros are undergoing continuous transformations. The aims of many people today is to change the walls built of organic material into sandcrete block walls. Many houses have a core made of sticks bound to a frame of larger wood members and different layers of stone, a clay mixture with lime and resin finish or a concrete wash completing the wall, depending on how old the house is, which resources the first owner had and which transformations it has been through since. 

If resources permit, the whole house may be demolished and rebuilt at once – another traditional house lost in Ilha. Or the house may be left to collapse for a long time until someone takes responsability for it. A gradual tranformation, where the parts of the walls in worst condition get changed first is another possibility. A transformation strategy exists, in which the bamboo and mangrove structure is left standing, while concrete block walls are erected around the house at the speed of which the owner has capacity to invest in producing blocks. When the new outer walls are complete, the inner structure may be demolished, and the windows and door tranferred to the new walls.


About Silje

Architect and PhD Candidate based in Copenhagen, Denmark, but working mainly with heritage conservation and urban development in Ilha de Moçambique 2011-13. You can contact me on macutiblog at gmail dot com
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8 Responses to 5. Slowly changing skin

  1. ancha says:

    stop architects in Ilha! We want poetry!

  2. carmo mota says:

    Does one exclude the other?

    • Silje says:

      The brick house takes over from the reed house, but there are many intermediate stages. And some houses stay in various forms of composite walls, with many materials present at one time – a form of “collage houses” which I will present later.

    • Silje says:

      This scene is such a great piece of art – all analogue and done before CGI. Thanks for posting it, as it is one of my favourites, although I am not quite sure of the links to my blog…

  3. Pingback: 9. Changing Hats | Macuti

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