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Innovative Breadloaf Design by Hughes Umbanhowar Architects Provides Positive Impact on Community

Working through the 1% pro bono program founded by Public Architecture, this innovative design by Hughes Umbanhowar Architects will be a large part of the positive life changes happening at the Drews Avenue School in Kingston, Jamaica. The architects have been working with Devon Harris’ Keep on Pushing Foundation to see this this crucial project brought to fruition.

An imaginative creation by Hughes Umbanhowar Architects that features functionality and Beauty at its finest while providing nutrition for hungry children.

This semi-modular kitchen structure will provide both breakfast and lunch for children who may not otherwise be fed at home. This program will help provide proper nutrition required for young children to achieve the focus needed to succeed in their studies.

The Design

Using the current school structure, the building is placed along the wall between the school yard and street. An enlarged shipping container will find a new purpose, providing the kitchen area. A covered outdoor eating space will provide shade and shelter to the children as they eat and commune with friends. This area will also provide a shaded area for outdoor classes or events when meals aren’t being served.

The idea was to create a space with a bread loaf concept in mind – the wrapper creates the identity and boundary of the structure while the nutrition is contained inside.

This bread loaf concept is realized in the layers required to achieve the final results. The face of the structure is defined by a continuous perimeter wall planting screen system. Over the first year or two, these vibrantly colored screens will evolve to become completely overgrown with brilliantly colored flowering vines, creating a naturally beautiful and awe-inspiring facade while remaining friendly to the environment.

The entire design of the kitchen area focuses on efficiency and user comfort. The shipping container is placed on a raised concrete foundation, lifting it to allow airflow to enter the insulative void within the exterior walls.

Both exterior sides of the provide evaporative cooling and UV absorption naturally through the flowering vines. A vented skylight allows for heat to escape while the windows on either side of the shipping container create cross a cooling ventilation for the interior. The planted roof provides insulation as well as a filtering rainwater capture system.

It’s expected that as time passes, this structure will become useful to the community as a whole. It could easily be used for meetings on nights and weekends, local concerts, and other gatherings and as it grows and evolves, it will also become a source of community pride.

Feeding Bodies and Minds

This project is expected to reach past providing nutrition for otherwise hungry children. The care of the flowering vines that will cover the exterior of the structure will also foster a sense of ownership for the children and their community, allowing the form to evolve into a source of community pride.



The design also calls to the artistic nature of the children as well as the community. This call to the imagination is hoped to raise awareness of the beauty and functionality both art and architecture can provide.

Design by Hughes Umbanhowar Architects.

Design by Hughes Umbanhowar Architects.

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