Architecture for Resilience – a new model for integrated community infrastructure

For the World Bank funded Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project (ZIRP), UNOPS Zimbabwe has brought onboard a joint venture of not-for-profit MASS and private company NLÉ, two globally acclaimed African-based architecture organisations who specialise in climate-positive designs.

“Architecture is never neutral, it can either hurt or it can heal. With the fantastic UNOPS Zimbabwe team and the communities living in the beautiful rolling hills of Manicaland, we see an incredible opportunity to contribute towards a healthier, safer future for young learners and mothers who are recovering from the harmful realities of climate disaster,” explains Andrew Brose, the Director of MASS Design Group.

MASS and NLÉ are bringing over twenty years of experience working on health and education projects from across the continent to support rehabilitation of community infrastructure. Through this collaboration, UNOPS’ team intends to develop a new model of education and health facilities that seeks adaptive solutions to the changing climate while providing safe and dignified spaces to its occupants. This requires extensive consultation with key stakeholders for the facilities to ensure that we build back better, designing infrastructure that is fit-for-purpose, climate resilient and suited to the local environment.

The selection of these two organisations was strategic as their ethos are aligned and amplify those of UNOPS. ‘’We are setting the standard for disaster resistant infrastructure in Zimbabwe. Our focus is to rebuild infrastructure that is best suited to the local environment while providing opportunities to hire locally,’’ adds the Senior Program Manager for UNOPS, Claude-André Nadon.

“We are thrilled at the opportunity to work with UNOPS in its Cyclone Idai recovery program for Manicaland, by designing safe, resilient educational and healthcare facilities with the hope of improving access and quality of life for various communities in need,’’ says Kunlé Adeyemi, the founder of NLÉ and winner of the prestigious Silver Lion Prize at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.