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Primary schools

International cooperation

At KARANGASSO VIGUÉ in Burkina Faso
From 2007 to 2009
By Arquitectura Sin Fronteras - Spain
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

Building with people

Research on autoconstruction as a tool for participatory processes

At MILANO in Italy
In 2008
By Architettura Senza Frontiere Italian Network
Local partners: Triennale di Milano, Politecnico di Milano and ESEM
Donors: ANCE Associazione NazionaleCostruttori Edili

On the occasion of the exhibition “Casa per Tutti” (“Housing for all”) curated by Fulvio Irace, the cultural institution Triennale di Milano and ASF-Italia, together with the Politecnico di Milano and ESEM (Ente Scuola Edile Milanese) promoted the workshop “Building with people. Low cost technologies for developing countries”. The objective was three-fold: to learn, apply and experiment a few technologies from different low-income contexts; to physically build a few housing units that are appropriate to some of the socio-cultural-environmental contexts where ASF-Italia operates; to experience and exchange ideas on different construction techniques that are appropriable by many and can make a powerful medium to facilitate processes of participation and auto-construction of one’s own living environment.

The main reference for the technologies that ASF-Italia tested is the research promoted by the workgroup Casapartes, Cyted (Ciencia y Tecnologia para el Desarrollo): since 1997 Casapartes has been disseminating appropriate and appropriable technologies for the social production of habitat in Latin America.

The workshop was organized into two phases: theoretical seminars, aimed to circumscribe and clarify the issue of housing in low-income areas; the practical activity of building, aimed to experiment and verify technologies and building processes.

All the practical activities were held at Triennale Bovisa and, with the support of video and internet connections, they were part of the exhibition “Casa per Tutti”.

Category: Workshop Medium / Technology / Material: Low cost technologies Typology: Architectural design- lectures & workshops
working participants
wall construction
wall plastering
final result
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