Submitted by Zainab Gaafar

Impact Hub Khartoum: An innovative working space

Sudan - Nov 30, 2017 - 14:49   7875 views

Impact Hub is a collection of international innovation labs, business Incubators and social enterprise community centers that have 80 members around the globe. Impact Hub Khartoum, a 240-sqaure-metre space in the center of Khartoum's commercial area, opened its doors for the public at the end of March 2017. The modern-industrial inspired interior creates an organic space that gives freedom to the users to divide and use the space in multiple orders.

Image © Ali Faisal Ishag

Attention to detail and creative use of local resources is a trade mark to Iskan Architects, the architecture office behind Impact Hubs Khartoum’s design, even though the global Impact Hub network does not have strict guidelines for how the building should be designed since each Impact Hub is locally owned and operated, yet they provide some suggestions such as having ample natural light, functional designs and reuse of space for various functions. 

For example, the co-working space at IH Khartoum serves as the main events space in the evening. But you can still sense a common atmosphere shared by all global community buildings that has somehow influenced IH Khartoum.

Image © Zainab Gaafar

The construction phase took three months including demolition of some partitions from the previous structure, installation of new flooring and redoing all electricity wiring and water pipes. The entire renovation cost was around $150,000.

I asked one of the owners Mr. Khalid Ali, why did they choose Iskan Architects?

"Iskan understood exactly what we had in mind, and were able to help us refine our requirements. They also offered a complete design-build solution."

Image © Zainab Gaafar

Image © Impact Hub Khartoum

Iskan had previously added a great deal to the local creative intake through redefining culture and what it means in a context like architecture and interior design, like what they did in 'Alhoush' restaurant in Omdurman, a unique architectural and interior design edifice that caused a stir in the local scene upon opening several years ago. 

In the same manner, using material, such as heavy-duty cardboard tubes, proposed a new understanding and utilization of low-cost materials, and demonstrated how a limited budget does not have to mean compensating on the quality of the experience. Iskan Architects understands the human-scale and direct environment, and this is what needs the most attention, in order to unleash the full potential of the resources a country like Sudan has.

Image © Zainab Gaafar

With companies like Iskan continuing to introduce innovative, cost efficient and creative ideas towards a more functional and sustainable architecture and interior design, the future of the local industry looks a lot more exciting.

Image © Iskan Architects

Image © Iskan Architects

Top Image © Impact Hub Khartoum

Personal thanks to Reem Gaafar for her input and help with writing these articles.

> via Impact Hub Khartoum and Iskan Architects