unlimitedJCA, the pro-bono branch of Prague-based design studio Jakub Cigler Architekti, has completed JUMPHUB, a co-working space for young professionals in the Burkina Faso capital that also raises awareness for sustainable architecture. Constructed with the help of the local community, the building is primarily built of compressed earth bricks in celebration of local materials and also follows passive design principles for natural cooling.

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tall brick building used as a co-working space

Completed in August 2019 and financed by the Czech Embassy in Accra, JUMPHUB serves primarily as an office for Jeunesse Unie pour un Movement Positif (JUMP), a collective that promotes networking among young professionals and creativity as a factor of social integration. The new community center provides a co-working space for the collective to showcase its activities and bring together young, diverse creatives, from the art and design fields to computer science and gardening.

Related: Green-roofed community center champions sustainable design in London

people climbing on wood lofts
people adding blue barriers at the edge of a loft

As a symbol of sustainable architecture, JUMPHUB takes on a vertical form in response to the problem of urban sprawl in Burkina Faso. The use of local materials and techniques as well as a simple, site-specific design help show the community how a building like JUMPHUB could be easily replicated elsewhere in the city. The thermal mass benefits of the earth bricks, the carefully placed openings and the stack effect phenomenon allow the interior to stay naturally cool without the need for air conditioning. A solar system will be installed in the future.

aerial view of wooden platforms inside a building made from earth bricks
people constructing a building from earth bricks

The flexible, light-filled interior spans 50 square meters and features an open space with a series of elevated loft spaces to take advantage of the tall ceiling. A netted hammock hangs off one side of the loft, while a swing is suspended from one of the four platforms. The architects explained, “The idea is to create various spaces for meetings, work, consultation, entertainment, inspiration, varied and dynamic spaces intending to awaken dynamism and curiosity.”

+ unlimitedJCA

Photography by Stéphane Samandoulougou, Soly Volná and Michaela Solnická Volná via unlimitedJCA