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Quiubox

Design // Tomaso Boano & Jonas Prišmontas

Collaborators // Alessio Monarca, Eszter Hanzséros, Nicola Paggi, Stefano Casati, Wilson Lam

Structural Engineer // Momentum

Manufacturer // Cutting Edge CNC

Lighting // iGuzzini

Illustrations // Marìa Eugenia Beizo

Special Thanks to // Chhavi, Toni Bansal & family

The name Quiubox is a combination of the Colombian expression “¿Quiubo?”, meaning “what’s up”, “hello, what is happening”, and a “box”, referring to a small scale architectural object, a container of knowledge and activities.

 

Quiubox is a nomadic workshop, a project designed for the Afro-Colombian communities living in the coastal areas surrounding Cartagena. The project aims to tackle inequality by building bridges between professionals and ethnic communities in the Colombian Caribbean.

 

The Caribbean territory is beautiful and fragile. Vast portions of the coast are constantly facing floods due to the rising level of the sea. Afro-Colombian communities often live in disadvantaged areas, lacking of a vision and methods to face these tough new challenges. The local population usually builds houses directly on the sea shore, meaning that in the following years a huge number of dwellings will need to be relocated to safer areas.

 

Quiubox sees these challenges as an opportunity to work closely with the local population and actively involve them in the development of a strategy. Under a common shed roof, a workshop co-exists with a public gathering space. Here people can meet and learn through the processes of making. Quiubox will teach new ways to build, repair boats, produce local furniture. The aim is to develop and strengthen the sense of community and at the same time offer a vision to tackle the issues caused from climate change. 

 

Quiubox sits on a floating platform to be able to move along the coast, from island to island, in the mangroves, and in the river communities. We estimate more than 40 villages can be reached and lots of knowledge can be shared.

 

Quiubox is a modular structure constructed out of CNC-machined plywood panels. The sheets are cut in the most efficient way avoiding material wastage. The modular structure is intended to be replicable and easy to assemble. Each module is built using dry joints that slot together without the aid of any additional fixing. In this way, Quiubox establishes a strong and permanent link between its shape and its inherent physical properties. The aesthetic look is dictated by this method of construction.

 

The facade typology combines the aesthetic of an iconic factory with shed roofs, with the round opening of a boat and the arches of a lodge. This hybrid mix expresses all the functions and the ideas behind the Quiubox concept.