Cassia Co-op Training Centre is a facility for cinnamon production, located in Sumatra, Indonesia. TYIN Architects designed and built the cinnamon school over the course of 3 months in 2011. The project's intent is to build a sustainable cinnamon school for the benefit of local farmers and workers, in an area where 85% of the worlds cinnamon supplies come from.
History and Concept
Cassia Co-op Training Centre was designed with the idea of implementing a working environment that produces the highest quality product, but is more importantly established ethically. Previous conditions for the workers meant they were often working in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, often being underpaid. Therefore the main goal of the project was to implement ensure the conditions for the local workers would be improved through the design.
The design of the project included a light wooden construction with a solid base of heavy brick and concrete. The wooden construction aims to give a feeling of being within a cinnamon forest.
The Training Centre was built around a pair of aged durian trees, with views from the front out to the beautiful Kerinci-lake with its back towards lush cinnamon forest. A major challenge creating a naturally ventilated climate beneath a roof surface of no less than 600 square meters. It was achieved through the use of thermal mass, the reduction of sun-rays and maximising the eaves.
The project was constructed with two main materials; locally crafted brick and the trunk of the cinnamon tree. The trunks are a by-product from the cinnamon production and is not considered as a valuable material with the locals. Local craftsman were brought in to work on the doors and windows.
The main construction consists of a mass produced Y-pillar, bolted down into concrete footings. The placement of the pillars influenced the final floor plan. Underneath the massive roof surface is five brick buildings, including a small laboratory, classrooms, offices and a kitchen.
Despite the project size and short time-frame, there were seventy workers involved on the project, including students and locals. Additionally there was the help of eight water buffaloes to haul trees from the forest to the small saw-mill onsite.
Another major challenge of building in this area is the frequency of earthquakes. The construction has already survived several quakes that reached over five on the Richter scale.