WCJF Center Jamaica

1_exterior viewWCJF Center, Jamaica


This building is envisioned as a showcase of sustainable materials and systems appropriate for developing countries, and began as the subject of a Design/Build course at City College in New York.  In the Spring of 2006, a group of enthusiastic students began exploring the many possibilities of sustainable architecture and green building design in Jamaica along with professors Oisin Clancy and Vanessa Keith. Both are founding members of Inter-Build.org, the building and architecture arm of Edu-Tourism, an NGO based in Jamaica. The first phase of design was taken to Jamaica and presented to the WCJF as well as teachers and other end users, and the valuable feedback gained from this exercise was brought back to New York for further development. The current project is a revision conducted by Studioteka over the course of the past year, and features the introduction of a system of structural bamboo connections as the building’s primary structure, which is configured and oriented for passive cooling. Also included are an integrated wind turbine, graywater treatment and an alternative sustainable septic system.
Project Team:
Vanessa Keith, Marcus Brooks, Laura Charlton, Gaby Rodriguez, Allison Schwartz, Ruud Van Hemert, Stijn Van Oorschot, Sebastian Weiss
Ute Besenecker, Oisin Clancy, Harry Knoll
CCNY Design/Build Team:
Mubeen Ahmad, Robert Benson, Marius Calin, Vanessa Despot, Max Driscoll, Jamie Foresta, Dylan Gould, Larry Jacquette, Hong Wen Kuang, Elizabeth Shipley, Neil Schwartz, Lisa Wan

7_stair to second levelStair to second level


8_stair at landingStair at landing


Located in Morant Bay, Jamaica, this building has a dual function.  It has a childcare area and a skills training section, as well as an ample multipurpose area at the entry which can be used for eating, congregating, and informal gatherings in the shade. The inside and outside spaces are envisioned as areas of lively activity and play, with the different wings of the building humming with purposeful activity at different times throughout the day.


13_childcare areaChildcare area


4_multipurpose area looking inMultipurpose area


The first level, which contains the multipurpose room, a kitchen, pantry, and bathroom with two toilets and two sinks, is a generous 1,482 square feet. The second level, on which are located the childcare wing, the skills training area and small sitting area which serves as a lounge, is 1,430 square feet. The childcare area has a changing table, padded play area, lockers for storage, and space for 10 cribs, as well as a staff desk. A second bathroom is accessible from the childcare wing, and contains a bathtub, sink and toilet.
The skills training area contains a meeting table which can accommodate 10 people, as well as workstations and computers for 8 people who can use them to learn valuable workforce related skills. The small sitting area at the top of the stairs has room for a couch and an end table, and is a place of conversation or repose, enlivening the zone at the top of the stairs. The surrounding landscape has been activated by the insertion of seating which rings the trees, as well as a series of planting beds which create an informal garden atmosphere.


siteplan_vk copySite plan


10_skills training areaSkills training area


11_skills training area with group tableSkills training area


bamboo pg3.2 copy3D elevation of structural bamboo skeleton


bamboo pg3.2 copy3D plan of structural bamboo skeleton


17_east elevationEast elevation


18_north elevationNorth elevation


19_west elevationWest elevation


20_south elevationSouth elevation