CERC Boldești-Scăeni
Cosmin Dragomir

Boldesti-Scaeni Resource Center

Adrian Pop Architecture Office as Architects

The Boldesti-Scaeni Resource Center (CERC Boldesti-Scaeni) is a project initiated by OMV Petrom. It is the 11th NGO founded by them, each one being a platform between the local administrations, representatives of the communities and representatives of OMV Petrom. Its objective is to identify the community’s needs, construct projects, social businesses and work together to finance and develop them. Boldesti-Scaeni is the first community where OMV Petrom also wanted a headquarter, that can also accommodate an after-school and professional development program.

The Roma community is located outside the town’s border. The first site offered by the town hall was situated here. Initially, we considered this site very good, benefiting from a direct connection with the Roma community and with the surroundings. After a while we understood that in order to encourage the integration of this excluded community, we need to encourage the interaction with the rest of the people from Boldesti-Scaeni. Therefore, we asked the town hall for another site and we received one in the immediate vicinity with a kindergarten and a dispensary.

In the process of integration of the Roma people, special attention has to be given to their identity, culture and traditions, which make them special. The educational and vocational program takes this into consideration, but we also wanted to use the architecture for this objective, as a result, but moreover as a process. We aimed to cultivate an appetite and assumption for the crafts that still exist in the Roma community. We hired 3 men from the community and we used traditional materials and technics, with which they are used to, mixed with more modern ones, so that they will be trained in new construction technics, which can be a source of income for further construction commissions.

The clay plastering and the use of twigs for the fence, for stabilizing the raised beds in the garden, for the ceiling or for the lampshades, are materials specific to their culture.

The building stands on a metal screw foundation, being the first civil building in Romania that uses this type of foundation. It has a wooden structure with straw bales infill, having the same section for the floor, walls and roof, eliminating thermal bridges. The clay plaster regulates the humidity and is a thermal mass needed for heating the space with radiant panels.

Children from the after-school program will be served a hot meal daily. The crockery needed was made during a workshop where the children from the community made the dishes out of clay and painted them. Some of them also attended a clay plastering workshop. This way, a connection between the children, the building, the objects there and the crafts is made.

The building will not generate operating costs for energy, gas or water. It has a closed water cycle, it does not use has for heating or cooking and the energy strategy is built on 3 steps: 1. Reduce energy loses – no thermal bridges, a very good insulation, triple glazed windows and doors 2. Reduce energy consumption – south orientation for solar heating in winter, large eaves to protect from overheating in summer, heat recovery system, LED lighting and energy efficient appliances 3. Energy production from alternative sources – 45 photovoltaic panels and 2 solar thermal panels, which produce more than the consumed energy, on an annual basis

The building has a kitchen, where a hot meal will be prepared daily for the children. O main classroom, that can be split into two for smaller classes and another room for vocational or professional development activities. When the weather is nice, an interior court can fit outside activities. The building also has an office for the NGO administration, and bathrooms.

A 440 sqm land is prepared for a gardening program, where children will be thought about permaculture.

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