lunedì 29 settembre 2008

Savorengo Ker: the House for Everyone

Italian Version

Savorengo Ker (in the Romani language “the house for everyone”) was designed and built together by Roma and “Gage” (non-Roma people) with the idea of exploiting the Romani people’s own distinctive practices of dwelling and building and embedding them in a proposal comprehensible and acceptable to non-Roma. It grew out of a research project into the lifestyles, housing typologies and building techniques used by the Roma, observed during numerous visits to the better houses in their camps and subsequently at a month-long construction-school directed by the most skillful builders of the Casilino 900 camp. It fostered reciprocal learning between men, women, children, teachers, students, architects and professionals, who ended up every evening around open fires eating barbecued meat, drinking toasts, swapping stories and discussing what to build the next day.
Savorengo Ker is an experimental house. It represents the result of an open-ended and indeterminate process in which the final result was not known at the start. It is the fruit of the meeting between two different cultures that were ready to put themselves on the line and decided the rules of the game on the camp site. Each day they were astonished at the results achieved. The building’s original forms and dimensions, like its decorations and its image, could only have grown out of this process of experimenting with relationships.
Savorengo Ker is not a home for the Roma but for everyone. It is an idea of housing that the Roma are offering to all those in need of a home in Italy today by making available their ecological and economic strategies: low levels of consumption, the recovery and recycling of building materials, self-build, flexibility and convenience as features of the house: all elements that together with the conception of the extended family based on solidarity represent an important resource, worth considering as an answer to the housing shortage in Italy.
Savorengo Ker is not the solution to the housing problem of the Roma, but is suggested as one of the possible solutions within a range of plural and differentiated responses, which range from public projects to low-rent housing, rental homes, the construction of housing on privately owned land, down to the possibility of continuing to lead a traveling life, favored by a small minority of Sinti and Rom Calderasha.
Savorengo Ker is the alternative to the container: with its facilities and its potential for fostering community and inhabitable urban environments. It is an attempt to provide a feasible alternative to those low quality forms of housing with walls just a few millimeters thick, conceived as temporary and emergency shelters, too small for extended families, too rigid to be personalized, too hot in summer and cold in winter.
Savorengo Ker has been called a “hut with its papers in order.” It grew out of the technology of the hut but respects the laws and it complies with all planning regulations, qualifying for a certificate of habitability: is a true house. It has a wooden structure and is flexible, extendible can be selfbuilt. It is safer, more ecological and more energy sustainable than a container. It costs 8,000 euros for the materials and 11,000 euros for labor. It has two stories, insulated walls 15 centimeters thick, three bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, living room and veranda, for an overall surface area of 70 square meters and costs the same as a container measuring 32 square meters.
Savorengo Ker is intended to move beyond the nomad camp model, the sole solution today imposed on the Roma and tomorrow perhaps on all citizens, whether Italian or foreigners unable to provide a home for their families. Inhuman spaces produced in conflict with any principle of sustainable development, perennially temporary shelters with substandard conditions. Behind an appearance of order they conceal social pollution and marginalization, with high installation and management costs, representing a total failure in integration policies and a real assumption of responsibility by the Roma.
Savorengo Ker is the name of a building cooperative now being formed, made up of the Roma who built the house and in collaboration with architects, universities and the professionals that helped construct it. The cooperative intends to suggest other models of housing, to study forms of aggregation, and devise more complex housing so as to transform the camps into housing estates.
Savorengo Ker is not a model to be cloned in thousands of copies. It is a working method that can produce houses of endlessly different kinds, ensuring the growth of small family managed “micro-areas,” integrated into the urban fabric, in contact with the other quarters of the city. It is not a house for all so much as a house for each. It can be assembled easily by cooperatives of Roma working together with the future occupants , who in this way not only get a home but learn a skill, earn an income and can obtain the documents they need to continue living in Italy.
At noon on July 28 last Savorengo Ker was presented to the public amid polemics and public protests over the project. The scandal lay in the fact that the Roma had produced a manifesto house, a symbolic action expressing their intention to put down roots, to build a stable relationship, integrated with the territory in which they have now been living for forty years, no longer wanting to be considered “nomads” or live in makeshift facilities made up of caravans, shacks and chemical toilets. And they achieved this by creating a harmony between the four different ethnic groups in the camp: Montenegrins, Kosovars, Bosnians and Macedonians, welding a creative synergy with Stalker ON, and winning support from three public universities in the capital, national cultural institutions, religious communities and citizens’ associations.

Savorengo Ker continues to exist and asks for your intellectual and civic support to enable it to keep up its work.

To support Savorengo Ker project, send an email to:

Savorengo Ker_Credits

A project by:
  • Community of Casilino 900
  • Stalker/Nomadic Observatory
  • DIPSU/Department of Urban Studies - Università di Roma TRE/ Research Nomadism and the City

Directors of the work:
  • Mirsad Sedjovic, Hakja Husovic, Bayram Hasimi, Nenad Sedjovic, Klej Salkanovic.

With the support of:
  • Venice Biennale / 11th Architecture Biennale / L'Italia cerca Casa
  • Milan Triennale/ Architecture Triennale / Casa per tutti - La vita nuda

With the Patronage of:
  • VII Municipio, Rome

In collaboration with:
  • Associazione Nova Vita
  • Pontificio Seminario Romano
  • Servizio di Medicina Solidale e delle Migrazioni del Policlinico di Tor Vergata
  • Dipartimento di Scienze Demografiche - Università di Roma “La Sapienza”
  • Cooperativa Ermes
  • Comunità di Sant’Egidio
  • Cooperativa sociale Assalto al Cielo
  • TAB Studio
  • Energetica Coop. Soc.

Work team:
  • Klej Salkanovic, Dejan Devovic, Saltan Azovic, Rudija Sejdovic , Tony Adzovic, Antonio Salkanovic, Vezir Salkanovic, Najo Adzovic, Goran Sejdovic, Janez Salkanovic, Sami Alija.
  • Francesco Careri, Lorenzo Romito, Azzurra Muzzonigro, Ilaria Vasdeki, Aldo Innocenzi, Paolo Bruschi, Beverly Piersol, Fabrizio Boni, Andrea Valentini , Michele Carpani, Giuseppe Punzo, Riccardo Albani, Pascal Hentschel, Silvia Scaldaferro, Sandra Pia Piacentino, Camilla Sanguinetti, Renzo Sgolacchia, Barbara Dovarch, Giorgio de Finis, Simona Caleo, Max Intrisano.