Vamizi Island

Vamizi Island, Quirimbas Archipelago, Mozambique

Vamizi Island is a unique architectural project based on sustainability on the remote island of Vamizi in the Quirimbas Archipelago of northern Mozambique.

Craft of Architecture was appointed after participating in a limited design competition involving a Vamizi design manual which defined the “Vamizi Aesthetic”. Vamizi architecture reflects the multi-cultural history of Mozambique with it’s African, Portuguese and Arabic influence, playing an integral part in sculpturing the architectural elements within the designs.

A ‘Pavilion’ type methodology is used to avoid existing trees and natural features of the natural ventilation. with the many cultural influences affecting the aesthetic it is intended that solid passive design principles from he backbone of the buildings combined with the sustainable material of the local environment to create an architecture that is unique to the Vamizi Island. As there are no services on the island all these needed to be provided, requiring each villa to be fully sustainable and off the grid.

Within Vamizi Island, each villa was designed to work within the tropical climate to maintain optimal thermal comfort, achieved through numerous passive design principles. With the focus being protection from the harsh African sun, appropriate insulation using natural materials such as the traditional local palm leave roofing became critical.

The roofs overhangs were a key feature to ensure the facades were shaded year round. Natural cooling using air movement was maximized through orientation and elevating the buildings above the ground and by utilising high raked ceilings for natural convention. All these principles contribute to the sustainable design outcome.

Timber and other natural lightweight materials like woven screens, were used extensively to reduce the amount of thermal mass, which allowed for faster cooling of the structure in the evenings.

With an emphasis on natural materials, no glass was used in any of the villas and screening systems were used for privacy, shading from the sun and protection from the elements.

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