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Feilden Clegg Bradley returns for Malawi project

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Feilden Clegg Bradley Architects has landed a second job in Malawi after a New York charity heard details of the practice's first unpaid project there.

When the US-based Potrero Nuevo Fund heard of FCBA's voluntary work designing and building a new health clinic for Mzuzu University it contacted the British practice, offering to pay $10,000 for a further scheme.

FCBA first became involved in Malawi after one of its project architects, Ron Nkombe, suggested using the practice's charity fund for the new health clinic, a project undertaken last summer.

Potrero Nuevo Fund saw the work featured in the AJ's sister magazine, the Architectural Review, and immediately emailed Nkombe offering the new funds.

The American cash will be used to build a university research centre on the banks of Lake Malawi to investigate local water quality and disease transmission. This project, however, depends on finding $20,000 from other external sources.

'The health clinic was the first time we had done something like this, ' Nkombe told the AJ. 'We wanted to challenge the notion of development and how to use local resources.'

Nkombe was on site for the month-long construction, with the other five members of the design team visiting for up to two weeks at a time. 'We were determined to learn from the local builders and workers.We picked up a lot from others on the project about how to build in a sustainable way, ' he said.

FCBA will extend its charity fund to design and build an orphanage in Madras, India. 'The Malawi schemes have been organised out of the London office.When our Bath colleagues heard about it, they wanted to do something as well, 'Nkombe added.

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