Nicaragua Kitchen Project

Matthew Parker, Robert Mawson and Gooch - Gurcan Ozyigit, Balgue, 2010


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Main front 

Matthew Parker, Robert Mawson and Gooch Gurcan Ozyigit     Download Original

  • Main front    
  • External night    
  • Internal shot    
  • Internal     
  • At work in the Kitchen    
  • Adelita´s bread!    
  • Site plan    
  • Floor plan    
  • Elevation    
  • Perspective    
  • Structural diagram    
  • Model    
  • Design consultation    
  • Unloading the bus    
  • Construction phase     
  • Volunteers digging trenches    
  • Lifting the lintel    
  • Laying stone sills    
  • Carpentry work    
  • Topping off party    
  • Topping off party    
  • Window detail    
  • Window detail    

Voluntary project to design and build a community kitchen for a rural community in Nicaragua

In 2010, three architecture students took the initiative to organise, fundraise and complete this hands-on voluntary project in Nicaragua during their summer break.

The project was undertaken for a Community Centre called Mano Amiga, which runs various initiatives including a nutritional programme for local children.

The conditions provided a unique opportunity to bring the architectural process out of the detached office environment and onto site. Participation by the local community not only generated a valuable workforce but also instilled a strong sense pride and ownership over the scheme. Instead of using traditional architectural drawings, the design was developed and communicated through quick sketches, mock ups and lines scraped into the mud.

The result was a functional yet contemporary kitchen and flexible semi-exterior space. This has created a facility to prepare food for undernourished children, as well as raising the profile of the centre to support further community-led activities and initiatives.


  • Begun: Aug 2010
  • Completed: Sep 2010
  • Floor area: 45m2
  • Sector: Civic
  • Total cost: £10,350
  • Funding: Personal Fundraising / Company Sponsorship / Bursaries / Charitable Donations
  • Tender date: Jul 2010
  • Address: Mano Amiga Community Centre, Balgue, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua