rural urban framework's ger innovation hub enables a sense of community in mongolia
 

rural urban framework's ger innovation hub enables a sense of community in mongolia

rural urban framework (RUF) has designed a structure in ulaanbaatar, the capital of mongolia, that seeks to foster a sense of community in a city with a large formerly nomadic population. ulaanbaatar’s ger districts are sprawling settlements comprising traditional felt tents, known as gers, and self-built brick homes. residents of these areas have no running water or sewage systems and, during the cold winter months when temperatures drop to -40°C (-40°F), coal is used as a source of heat, resulting in debilitating air pollution. the majority of new migrants to ulaanbaatar are nomads, drawn to the city in the hope of a better quality of life. these new arrivals erect their ger, dig a pit-latrine, and stake out a plot of land.

rural urban framework ger
all images and video courtesy of rural urban framework

 

 

‘in this process of becoming urban, nomadic residents are confronted with a new set of challenges,’ explains rural urban framework. ‘they now live in close proximity to others; they have to pay for water and fuel; they rely on electricity and transportation; and they generate surplus waste. their individual actions have an impact on others; they encounter common problems that become the responsibility of a collective body of people.’ RUF, the research and design collaborative between joshua bolchover and john lin, states that the aim of the project is to enable residents to address what it means to live together and forge new methods of collaboration.

rural urban framework ger

 

 

in the process of completing the ‘ger innovation hub’, RUF worked alongside a number of different stakeholders including NGOs, local government officials, residents, academic institutions, and business networks. ‘inspired by the ger as a structural and material system of wood, felt and canvas, we pulled these layers apart to create a room-within-a-room,’ details the design team. ‘the inner space made of mud bricks is wrapped with an outer layer of polycarbonate. timber trusses structure both envelopes, allowing light to filter through both layers, maximizing solar heat gain and warming the thermal mass of the interior. the in-between space acts as a buffer to trap radiant heat allowing the inner room to be heated by a differential of only +15°C (59°F) rather than +45°C (113°F), significantly reducing energy consumption.’

rural urban framework ger

 

 

nonprofit social enterprise GerHub will operate and run the building, organizing workshops on education, sustainability and vocational training. the building will host play sessions for children and after-school clubs and bring the community together for discussions, events and performances. the design team says that the venue, by offering an alternative place to go, will be a location for all sections of the community. ‘our work is still ongoing as we evaluate the building’s environmental performance and monitor how it is used by residents,’ say the architects. ‘in this way, the project is not just about the final object, but demonstrates how the process of making architecture can be a model to enable the construction of a community.’

rural urban framework's ger innovation hub enables a sense of community in mongolia

rural urban framework's ger innovation hub enables a sense of community in mongolia

rural urban framework's ger innovation hub enables a sense of community in mongolia

rural urban framework's ger innovation hub enables a sense of community in mongolia

rural urban framework's ger innovation hub enables a sense of community in mongolia

rural-urban-framework-ger-innovation-hub-mongolia-designboom-1800r

rural urban framework's ger innovation hub enables a sense of community in mongolia

 

 

project info:

 

location: songino khairkhan 43, ulaanbaatar, mongolia
design: joshua bolchover and john lin (rural urban framework, the university of hong kong)
project leader: jersey poon
project team: chiara oggioni
project partner: GerHub: badruun gardi and enkhjin batjargal, ecotown NGO: odgerel gansukh
contractor: odgerel gansukh
wood supplier: shinest co. ltd

 

project start: january 2018
construction: june 2018-january 2020
evaluation: ongoing

 

total cost: $67,500 USD
unit cost: $420 USD/m2
total area: 160 sqm
inner area: 73 sqm

 

funding: hong kong jockey club charities trust (as part of the jockey club HKU rural-urban design project), YPO ASEAN united
supporting institutions: the university of hong kong, HKU school of professional and continuing education
image credits: rural urban framework (RUF)

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