The Foundation for Tomorrow envisions a world where all children contribute to society as active and empowered citizens free of exclusion, disadvantage, and vulnerability. Based on the mission and vision of TFFT the starting point for this project focused on creating a building representing an open and inclusive community. The theoretical starting point uses a circle which represents unity and inclusion. The outer perimeter of the building is an ellipse representing the community. The combination of these two powerful symbols form the base of the building and starting point for the floor plan layout. To enter the building you pass a narrow entry which represents “light at the end of the tunnel” and symbolizes a long period of difficulty coming to an end for the vulnerable and underprivileged children.

The positioning of the circle in regards to the ellipse allows room sizes to vary depending on functionality and the area required. The ratio between the two determines the room depth which in turn controls natural light and natural ventilation. The rooms are divided up with the center of the circle as the common vanishing point for all main interior partitions.

The skeletal system is set up based on a circular grid which is also the same grid determining the interior wall partition positions. The structural elements within the building comprise of steel columns while the visible exterior columns are pressure treated eucalyptus poles to give a blend between modern and traditional building materials.

A one-piece ferro-cement roof covers the entire building while allowing a free-flowing surface that is used for rainwater harvesting. A gentle slope on the site causes the foundation to rise on the southern side of the building. The difference in height is utilized to create a mezzanine within the library.

The client wanted a contemporary building reflecting the mission and vision of TFFT. We were able to capture this in the building to the satisfaction of the client. During the design process there were compromises that were made to security as no security bars were installed in any of the windows. This was however solved by installation of camera and alarms as well as a secure perimeter wall.