Tak Tak Tak is going to make a flat-pack building to support unaccompanied children living in the refugee and migrant camp at Calais, informally known as ‘The Jungle'. It is called the Calais Kids Space. We began working on this project a number of months ago and are now ready to start building. We need your help to raise the money required for building materials and transport. Your donation which will be most gratefully received will go towards putting a roof over the heads of under eighteens who are in the camp already as well as those who arrive daily.
We have been in conversation with an organisation called Jungle Books. Their work began with a small library in the Jungle, but now has grown into a school, restaurant and welfare operation. Their mission is to provide some form of stability to the unaccompanied children who live in the Jungle. At the moment they provide 200 meals a day to under 18’s, most of whom are without family. The Calais Kids Space is needed in order for Jungle Books to continue doing the amazing work it does. It will be used as a dormitory for new arrivals and as a teaching/day space for the children. Built next to the existing Jungle Books Kids Restaurant it will complement the organisations existing activites.
A group of friends, all students of Architecture, travelled to ‘The Jungle’ which is built on a former landfill site in Calais, France. We went to volunteer, bear witness, and find how we could help.
An evening was spent in one of the camp’s community buildings called ‘Jungle Books’. It is a neutral territory, built in a similar way to the shelters around it from plywood and tarpaulin. It is basic in shape but complex and invaluable in its use. Jungle Books is where children are taught, adults learn other languages and where conversation and translation flow. Most importantly for us the experience allowed us to truly understand the constant stress that presses the people who live and work in ‘The Jungle'. It allowed us to see eye to eye with some of the children, women and men who are living there at present.
We were particularly shocked by the number of unaccompanied children. Most of them are teenage boys who are in some of the most important developmental stages of their lives. For them to be living alone in a place like the Jungle is wrong.
We felt like the situation couldn't be ignored and that we had to do something to help.
It became very clear to us on reflection of our time in Calais, that the community buildings are intrinsic to any semblance of hope in a place like ‘The Jungle'. They act as safe places for children and as hubs for the improvement of daily life. Because the political situation forces these communities to be transient, the buildings which support such a community are always at risk.
All buildings and shelters in Calais are built under extreme pressure. These pressures mean that things are done quickly in order to provide immediate aid to anybody that needs it. The volunteers helping in The Jungle are doing a tremendous job with the few resources available. We have had the gift of time to think through the implementation of a building in detail. We are acting upon this opportunity by building something which will in some way help to alleviate the struggles that residents and volunteers face daily.
We have been in conversation with an organisation called Jungle Books. Their work began with a small library in the Jungle, but now have grown into a school, restaurant and welfare operation. Their mission is to provide some form of stability to the unaccompanied children who live in the Jungle. At the moment they provide 200 meals a day to under 18’s, most of whom are without family. The Calais Kids Space will be taken on by the Jungle Books organisation, it will be used as a dormitory for new arrivals and as a teaching/day space for the children. It will be built as an annex to the Jungle Books Kids Restaurant.
The Calais Kids Space is a flat-pack timber frame, which is insulated and clad with materials which are the staple for construction in the 'Jungle'. Where possible we will use materials which are destined for land-fill. Tyres, for example, when filled with concrete are the perfect moveable foundation. Rigid foam insulation is often put in skips on building sites. We will capitalise on this by using it in clever ways, it will help to reduce costs and to reduce damage to the environment.
The building will be pre-fabricated off-site and driven to Calais in two Luton Vans. It will be easy to assemble and the community will be involved in its assembly. Should it face demolition or should it no longer be needed, it can be disassembled and moved elsewhere.
The space is large enough to hold up to 70 people standing and flexible in its day to day use. It will be full of natural light, welcoming and transparent. Those using the building will also be free to control the internal environment. They will be able to open a window for fresh air and will be able to warm up cold bodies who are subject to harsh living conditions.
It will be a building which is useful, safe and valued. Help us to make it happen.
The breakdown of project costs are as follows:
£100 - All of the tyre foundations.
£650 - A solid and insulated floor.
£1100 - The entire timber structure.
£300 - The windows and doors
£900 - Good insulation and cladding for the walls.
£750 - A weather tight roof.
£200 - All the screws and fixings needed for the project.
This £4000 will pay for the building itself, but we need to make sure those inside are warm and comfortable and that they have adequate lighting and electricity.
£800 - To provide a stove, a generator and electrics.
£800 - To make and buy furniture.
Once this is all ready, we need to transport the building to Calais.
£1000 - The cost of van hire and the journey under the channel.
Initial target - £6600
The building of the Calais Kids Space, is the first step. But what takes place inside that building is even more important. In order for things to improve in Calais, the people who work hard everyday to support those in need must be able to continue the inspiring work they are doing.
This building will be a space where great things can happen. But donations are needed to ensure a successful use of the building - to ensure that a helping hand continues to reach out to those in need. So any money raised above our target will go towards the continued support of the unaccompanied children in the 'Jungle'.
Over the past months, a lot of our time has been spent designing the best building we can. It has been hugely important that the space inside and outside the Calais Kids Space is the best it can be. But to make that happen, it needs to be easy to assemble when we arrive in the 'Jungle'. The following images show the full scale prototyping that had to take place in order to reach this stage.
A tyre foundation.
Assembling part of the flat-pack timber frame.
The finished structure (ropes will now be used instead of wire)
The prototype after disassembly and reassembling in another place
Watercolour and ink drawings. Available as high quality prints or limited to 12 originals.
The final architectural drawing. Available as a high quality A2 print.
The 1:20 model.
For any more information (we have lots more) please do not hesitate to contact us.
Email - [email protected]
Website - www.taktaktak.org.uk
Facebook - Tak Tak Tak
Twitter - @taktaktakbuild