Antyaro Pankotsi, a new community centre in Otica

Location: Comunidad Nativa de Otica, Río Tambo.
Project direction: Asociación Semillas para el Desarrollo Sostenible
Architecture: Semillas – Marta Maccaglia, Raúl Arancibia, Auriane Bonnault, Samanta Sinistri.

The native community of Otica is located on the edges of the Tambo River, in Peru’s central forest, or selva central.  For years, it has depended on a community centre built by the local government completely out of cement. This centre has been abandoned for years, however, as it does not meet the climatic and cultural needs of the area. To address these needs, a project for a new community centre has been proposed: Casa Grande “Antyaro Pankotsi.” This project for the native community of Ashaninka de Otica includes the community’s own contributions gathered during the Diagnostic and Participative Design workshops and reflects the intersection between identity and architecture.

Two access plazas, featuring native trees with benches at the bases, mark the entrances to the community centre. The large roof protects from the sun and rain. The building is elevated off the ground to protect against flooding with a dug out interior. This creates an ampitheatre-like space, able to be used for multiple purposes, such as assemblies, meetings, dances, parties, video presentations, and workshops. The floor is made of tamped down dirt and cement, which maintains a connection to nature. Underneath the large roof, a two-story brick unit will contain the offices and kitchen.

The locally-sourced and ecological materials are present throughout the project. The wood will be from Otica forests, stones and sand will be taken from rivers surrounding Otica, and the bricks will be clay baked in neighbouring communities.