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Improvement of educational quality with cultural and gender approach

This project is part of an educational program that aims to improve the overall quality of education in rural communities in the municipality of Champerico.

At Champerico in Guatemala
From 2017 to 2018
By Arquitectos Sin Fronteras España
Local partners: ASIAPRODI and PRODESSA
Donors: Xunta de Galicia, private contributions, Municipalidad de Champerico, Caja Navarra and Fundación Roviralta

The construction of a school in the community of El Manchón is part of a bigger educational program which has been developed by ASF, PROYDE -Spanish organizations-, PRODESSA and ASIAPRODI -loca! partners- since 2014. The intervention seeks to improve the condition in eight primary schools and two high schools from an integrated approach, addressing specific aspects with each group involved in the process: teachers, students, parents, communities, local leaders, associations and institutional authorities.

The objective is to adapt, improve and build quality educational spa ces that offer an appropriate, safe and healthy environment for their users, thus establishing an adequate framework for the learning process. The school of El Manchón has bee n designed to achieve the necessary com fort conditions in the building, putting into practice criteria of bioclimatic design, appropriate technologies, optimisation of resources and participation. The construction includes two classrooms, a kitchen, a canteen and a module of ecological dry toilets.The materials used for construction are concrete blocks and reinforced concrete. This solution is adequate to the context according to their effectiveness, viability, sustainability and impact, adapting the design to the availability of resources and !ocal knowledge. The design establishes a modulation in order to red u ce the use of materials, avoid was te and make the construction easier, fas ter and more efficient.

Category: Education Medium / Technology / Material: Concrete blocks & Reinforced concrete Typology: Project
North facade
South view
Interior view
wall details
Students participatpion in design process
Community participatpion in design process
Excavation works

Kouk Khleang Youth Center

Consturction of Youth Center

At Phnom Penh, Cambodia in Cambodia
From 2010 to 2014
By Ukumbi - Finland

The youth center was designed and built as a collaboration between Komitu architects team and two Cambodian NGOs Cambodian Volunteers for Society (CVS) and Khmer Kamputchea Krom for Human Rights and Development Association (KKKHRDA) in a disadvantaged urban neighbourhood of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. CVS provides Cambodian youth with opportunities to learn, get work experience and unlock their potentials in order to do their share in the development of Cambodian society. Volunteering youth make useful contributions to their communities while gaining work experience for their future professional careers. Through CVS, youth from different urban communities meet and find solutions for common problems. KKKHRDA manages the neighbourhood where the center will be built and airs a radio program about human rights.
The bases of Komitu’s work is on culturally sensitive and participatory design. During the design process the voice of the youth was heard through workshops. The building phase also engaged the locals. The design of the youth center is based on the use of local and sustainable building materials and technologies. Earth bricks are a low-emission choice for the bearing structures, while bamboo has been chosen for shadings and decoration because it is rapidly renewable, affordable and traditionally used in Cambodian culture. By developing modern architecture that derives from local esthetics and craftsmanship we can promote the use of these undervalued materials in modern day Cambodia.
The project started in march 2010 on Aalto University’s Cambodia Studio’s field trip, where Komitu members Elina Tenho and Tuuli Kassi organised the first workshops with the youth volunteering for CVS. In December 2010 we travelled back to Phnom Penh to introduce the first design for the youth center and to futher develop it together with the future users. In addition to the design workshop with the local youth, presentations were held at Limkokwing University for students of architecture and at Meta-house culture center for anyone interested.
During the year 2011 Komitu worked on the design and developed the bamboo and earth brick techniques together with engineering collaborators. In March 2012 the construction begun with filling the site and prefabricating bamboo parts. In August 2012 we had a change of constructor, after which the building advanced at a good pace and BQC construction

building scheme
youth centre
shutters detail
the entrance

Secondary school girls hostels in Iringa region

Constuction of Secondary School Girls’ Hostels

At Tanzania, United Republic of
From 2017 to 2019
By Ukumbi - Finland
Local partners: Lyra in Africa

„Girls’ education has proven to be one of the most effective ways of poverty reduction and community development. Through education, girls acquire the capacity for better livelihoods, and learn how to look after themselves and their future families.
In rural Tanzania, however, going to school may be a challenge:  some girls have to walk up to 30 km to reach their school. The daily journey can also get dangerous, with serious consequences: pregnancy is considered a valid reason for expelling a girl from school – which terminates her education.
To keep the girls safe and save time for their studies, parents and communities often prefer them to stay close to the school. For this purpose, safe and well-designed hostels for girls are needed, to provide them with an environment that supports their education and development.  
Ukumbi NGO and Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects have worked together with Lyra in Africa, to design and build hostels for girls in secondary schools in Iringa region, Tanzania. The first executed hostel opened in October 2018 in Nyang’oro Secondary School. Lyra in Africa is providing the funding for the construction of the hostel facilities, whereas Hollmén Reuter Sandman are providing the architectural design.
Sustainable, environmentally and culturally appropriate architecture is vitally important for the success of the Lyra’s hostel project, and it will set a standard in the future projects in the area. It will also have a strong impact on the community by allowing them to engage in the design and construction on the hostel, thus strengthening their economy, social status and vitality. The next dormitory, with a revised and improved design is being built in Ilambilole, Iringa rural, to be opened in 2020.  


Category: Development & Education Medium / Technology / Material: Earth constructiont Typology: Architectural design
Secondary School Girls’ Hostels

Vulnerability and risk: rebuilding communities after disaster


At CORNWALL in United Kingdom
In 2006
By Architecture Sans Frontières - UK
Local partners: IDee and Eden Project
Donors: Self funding

Following on from the success of ASF-UK’s Summer School, in 2005, a second summer school took place at the Eden Project in Cornwall in 2006.

This year the emphasis was on linking relief and early interventions with longer term developmental goals. It included a 2 day component of lectures and workshops led by world renowned speakers including Professor Nabeel Hamdi (Oxford Brookes University) and Mr. Anshu Sharma (SEEDS, India) who discussed rebuilding communities after disaster in relation to their own work.

Students were encouraged to discuss the issues of vulnerability and livelihoods, and vernacular responses to emergency shelter. The theories were put into practice with the building of temporary structures from waste materials in the Hot Tropics Biome of the Eden project in Cornwall. The structures stayed in the Biome for several months and continued to engage public understanding regarding living conditions of vulnerable people worldwide.

Category: Workshop & Education Medium / Technology / Material: Recycled Waste & Recycled Materials Typology: Temporary structures
temporary structure
temporary structure detail
building process

Solidarity Project

Help local organisation to enhance educational program

From 2006 to 2007
By Architectes Sans Frontières - France
Local partners: Comité des Jeunes pour le Développement de Sabalibougou - Plaisir Jeunesse and ACJAM
Donors: Région Ile de France

As a solidarity project, this building has been made in cooperation with a local organization of young people living in Sabalibougou, a Bamako neighborhood in Mali and two social workers organizations in France. 12 French adolescents were sent from a Paris suburb to participate in the construction of these three classrooms.

The task for ASF was mainly to help choosing the right place to do it, to draw the mainline of the project and to assist the French organizations in their work.

local workers

Shelter and formation centre for Paysans Sans Frontières

International Cooperation

At BINGO in Burkina Faso
In 2005
By Arquitectos Sin Fronteras España
Local partners: Mouvement de Paysans SansFrontieres de Bingo
Donors: Public funding

Main goal of the project is supporting the activities that our counterpart has been carrying out since 1994 in the area of innovative, sustainable, integrated and ecological techniques for agriculture and farming. It consists in the construction of an educational institution where these activities could be carried out in better conditions.

The range of activities as well as of people who can benefit from them is extended. In addition, a capacity building centre will be created by adding the following to the already existing facilities (a lot surrounded by a stone wall with a dairy, a bedroom for the warden and a warehouse):

1 hangar with a capacity for 30 persons to be used as a polyvalent space for courses, meetings, lectures, etc.

3 double bedrooms for guest teachers, etc.

1 kitchen/warehouse

1 communal room for 25 persons to host people attending seminars, etc.

6 latrines and 4 shower facilities.

All facilities will be furnished with a basic electrical installation powered by photovoltaic panels.

The project is located in the small village of Bingo, province of Bulkiemdé, 40 km to the west of Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso. Bingo has a total population of ca. 2000 inhabitants, but the area of influence of the whole project extends to the villages of Sa and Kaliguiri, with a total of 2000 inhabitants, and five other smaller villages, totalling 2000 more inhabitants altogether.

Category: Architectural project & Education Medium / Technology / Material: Photovoltaic panels & Clay bricks Typology: Housing & Infrastructure
water supplies infrastructure
building materials
construction site
local workers

School and housing

International cooperation

At TETE NGOBA in Congo (the Democratic Republic of the)
In 2007
By Architettura Senza Frontiere Italian Network
Local partners: Congregation of the diocesan and Nuns of St. Francis of Assisi of Tshumbe
Donors: POIM

The project has the general purpose to fight against the increasing analphabetism, unemployment and underdevelopment, plagues that hit young people above all. This plan is part of a project aimed to increase scholarship rates, led by the local partner who acts in the name of the Diocese of “Thumbe”. The project implies the construction of a secondary school centre in an area without any schools for 80 km, where roads are extremely difficult to move on.

Together with the local population and its local partner, ASF Onlus elaborated the following project:

a) construction of an autonomous school complex made of a building with 6 classrooms for 540 students from twelve to eighteen years old and of another building for offices and the direction for the head master

b) building of houses for 18 teachers

c) realization of a well to take out of the water from the underearth stratum

d) being in acquaintance with professional activities linked to building and manufacturing fields through the promotion and realization of professional training, but also through the direct participation of local people in the construction of the buildings themselves as well as in the creation of the furniture for them.

The methodology adopted for the improvement of the different activities of the project is generally based on a strongly communitarian approach and has the purpose of increasing the local cultural and professional abilities, with the aim of creating autonomous capabilities and putting the bases of development for the direct and undirect beneficiaries.

school project's model
school project's plan

Public School

International Cooperation

At ANSE-À-PITRE in Haiti
From 2004 to 2005
By Arquitectos Sin Fronteras España
Local partners: Ministère de lâ Education and Jeunesse et Sports
Donors: Public funding

For Phase 2 of this project, we propose to continue supporting the National Primary School in the border town of Anse-à-Pitre in Southwest Haiti. It consists in building two more school rooms, which would add up to the four rooms already in construction, in order to reach the total number of six required for the fi rst cycle of Primary Education. It also consists in the construction of a canteen and a school orchard, plus the instruction of the APA for them to grow and cook the schoolchildren’s breakfast. Moreover, we propose to further all those activities directed toward the creation of egalitarian bonds among the people inhabiting both sides of the Dominican-Haitian border, through joint actions involving teachers, students and parents from both countries.

The whole project is part of a larger process of cross-border development to promote transnational environmental education. It puts special emphasis on the improvement of the educational infrastructures in both border towns, seen as fulcra for the expansion of a new sensibility towards the physical environment, which on the Haitian side is devastated and on the Dominican side is threatened by industrial and touristic activities, incompatible with the preservation of protected areas. The idea of a refectory furnished with cooking devices powered by solar energy is aimed at putting this special emphasis on the preservation of the environment – the use of clean energies reduces the impact of deforestation caused by the production of charcoal, which is the only existing fuel in the area.

Our project is based, therefore, on the potential capacity of instruction to impinge on a tendency which is decimating the student population in the region, while also causing serious damage to its resources and to the good understanding between the people of these two nations.

Category: Architectural project, Education & Education facility Medium / Technology / Material: Concrete blocks Typology: Primary school
school foundations
roof construction
roof construction

Primary schools

International cooperation

From 2007 to 2009
By Arquitectos Sin Fronteras España
Local partners: Petit à Petit Association
Donors: Generalitat de Catalunya and Fundación Caja Arquitectos

A series of works have been carried out in four hamlets in Karangasso-Vigué rural zone, in the South part of Burkina Faso (one of the world’s poorest countries) to create or complement 4 primary public schools. This project was realized together with a local association, Petit à Petit, and with school directors of this Burkina Faso zone, who have been developing in the last few years a reflection about the “ideal school”. This participative work contributed to enrich the architectonic proposal, improving teaching conditions and allowing the creation of new collective spaces for the village.

Each school is made of 3 classrooms, a library, teacher’s dwellings, school kitchen gardens, and outdoor spaces with outdoor blackboards and paillotes (lightweight construction made of timber and straw resting on metallic pillars that serves as a meeting place for the people of the township, as well as a space for a temporary dining room and shelter for the children).

All of them have been executed with low environmental impact techniques. Local resources were used in a broad process of community participation, accomplished with the support of a network of local craftsmen who contributed to train people from the villages. Around 200 persons, women and men, have participated in the work. A mixed construction was chosen for the classrooms, with metallic structures and laterite stone walls; stones were extracted from local quarries reducing transportation costs and encouraging local economy. For the teacher’s dwellings adobe bricks were employed with the earth vaults roof technique (Voûte Nubienne), using basic, readily available local materials and simple, easily appropriable procedures.

school facility
exterior classroom
water infrastructure

Primary school in Naipa

WHO analysis

At NAIPA in Kenya
From 1999 to 2003
By Architekten Über Grenzen - Germany
Local partners: DESWOS and Anglican Church of Kenia
Donors: German Ministry for Development and BMZ

In 1998, two doctors who worked for the WHO in the Region of Naipa in the northwest of Kenia asked “Architects over Frontiers” Germany to help them to build a primary school for the region. In the follow up process “Architekten Über Grenzen” and the German Development Organization DESWOS were engaged in the school building together with financial support of the German Ministry for Development, BMZ, and the Anglican Curch of Kenia as a local partner.

In 2003, the school has been fi nished and handed over to the local partner. The school has 4 classrooms, a staff room and a directory with a base of 220 squaremetres. For a cost of all in all 35.000 Euros “Architects over Frontiers” Germany and DESWOS were able to build a school in which today nearly 500 children are getting lections from teachers paid by the State of Kenia.

Category: Architectural project, Education & Education facility Medium / Technology / Material: local resources Typology: Primary school
wall construction
wall plastering
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