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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

Nursery school

UN Millenium Development Goals

At KAGERA REGION in Tanzania, United Republic of
From 2006 to 2007
By Architecten Zonder Grenzen - Belgium
Local partners: Nyakatoke Kindergarten Committee
Donors: Private Donors

Nyakatoke is a rural village in the northwestern corner of Tanzania, near Bukoba, with nearly 600 inhabitants. Due to the fact that there is no nursery school within walking distance of the village, the average level of education in Nyakatoke is far below the rural Tanzanian standards. It is widely acknowledged that especially primary education is one of the most powerful tools in fighting extreme poverty: achieving a full course of primary schooling for all boys and girls is one of the UN Millennium Development Goals. The building of a nursery school in Nyakatoke will be a small step towards achieving those goals.

The design of the building was driven by local circumstances such as the orientation of the plot, the people’s living conditions, etc. Special attention has also been given to ecological measures such as the recycling of rainwater. Since only locally available materials and techniques will be applied, no external workers need to be involved in the construction of the building. All these measures should ensure the sustainability of the project.

Category: Architectural project Medium / Technology / Material: local resources Typology: Education & Nursery school
project section 1
project section 2
project plan

Kompian hospital


At KOMPIAN in Papua New Guinea
In 2007
By Architects Without Frontiers - Australia
Local partners: Dr David Mills
Donors: PNG Government

This is the largest project undertaken by AWF to date. It is based on collaboration between AWF and Engineers Without Borders. Located in Enga Province about 5 hours drive from Mount Hagen, which is the entry point to the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, Kompian Hospital currently has 38 beds. This project will expand the number of beds to 70, as well as providing improved facilities for wards, dispensary, and outpatient wing and operation theatres.

The site is extremely remote, made more inaccessible by the condition of the roads and the steep terrain - the last 35km to the site takes 2.5hrs to travel. This makes transportation of materials to the site an issue. As all the building materials have to be transported by road from Mount Hagen, the palette is limited. Metal roof and wall cladding on timber framing (with detailing in mind for termites) and glass louvers are great for transport and light but difficult to keep clean, so the team are exploring possibility of materials such as crime safe.

Further challenges in the design include a limited electricity supply (only 3hrs by generator per day, supplemented by solar power), availability of materials, vandalism, termites, cleaning/ hygiene, a preference for new materials over traditional, a perception that ‘new’ has permanence and the performance of modern materials in an equatorial climate.

The project was originally supervised by Catherine Love and the late Dennis Small, and models and drawings were done by AWF volunteers. These were handed over to Nettleton Tribe Architects who are doing the construction documentation for the hospital in a pro-bono capacity. Currently the focus is on the pediatric ward for which funding has been sourced from the PNG government, and which will begin construction in December 2009. Lilian Aril, from Nettleton Tribe, is working closely with the structural engineer, Tamri Curran, from Bilfinger Berger Services, who are volunteering their expertise to the project through Engineers Without Borders.

Category: Architectural project Medium / Technology / Material: local resources & solar power Typology: Hospital
project model
project plan
project elevations and sections

Educational support centre

Children education

At KAMPONG SVAY in Cambodia
In 2009
By Architectes Sans Frontières - France
Local partners: ADTJK and AEC

ADTJK (Association pour le Développement Technique de la Jeunesse Khmere) is a cambodian association founded in 1993, which has been supporting for 9 years the schooling at «Somra Komar» primary school that the association has built in Village II of Kampong Svay (suburb of Sisophon, north-east of Cambodia). ADTJK also has been providing extra help sessions for 3 years, for the children of its household (Foyer Lataste) and its sponsored godchilds.

Rewarded for 3 consecutive years (2006, 2007, 2008) by the Komar Metreï prize, Somra Komar school is the best of the town. Strong of its results in primary and its experience in managing educational support, ADTJK wants secondary school pupils benefit of its capacity, because it appeared that the local secondary school is in need of it, especially for the poorest pupils. ATDJK aims to develop on its site a building project including 10 classrooms and a library. The project is held by a french association, AEC (Aide aux Enfants Cambodgiens) which wants to keep on developing educational action toward the youths of Foyer Lataste, and extend this action to the poorest children of the area.

AEC called ASF to evaluate the technical feasability of the project, and to study the context and the program stakes. An evaluation mission was lead in may 2009. This project’s ambition is to structure the district, as a dynamic educative pole, acknowledged by all the villagers. Work with local constructive techniques and an accurate design of each space will be needed, to succeed in the insertion of the project, in this mostly agricultural region.

Category: Architectural project Medium / Technology / Material: local resources Typology: Education
local building
local building

Educational centre

Promote integration among children

At ADDIS ABEBA in Ethiopia
In 2006
By Arkitekter Utan Gränser - Sweden
Local partners: Asere Hawariat Moya School
Donors: Private Donors

This project is an extension of a school in Addis Ababa, in the form of an Educational Centre. The school’s target is the poorest families and street children and its pedagogy is based on humanism and everyone’s equal rights. Through the years the school has helped thousands of children to a better life.

Ethnical segregation has increased dramatically in the Ethiopia in recent years. The main purpose of the Educational Centre is to counteract this tendency and promote understanding among different cultures. The idea is that it will become a place where the students themselves can exhibit items from their own cultures and tell each other about them. Another important aim is to create pride in Ethiopia to hinder the brain-drainage and make the children stay in the country and contribute to its development once educated. Moreover, the centre will include exhibitions on the history of Ethiopia and women’s and children’s rights.

The building will be approximately 600 sqm and focus on creating spaces for exhibitions and opportunities for informal and formal meetings. It will also be a useful supplement in the school’s everyday education - for outdoor lectures, drama and music classes - and it will form the main meeting point for students and teachers. Building materials are chosen with sustainability and local availability in mind.

Category: Construction Medium / Technology / Material: local resources Typology: Education
project perspective
project perspective
project perspective
project model
project section

Design primer competition for an aids orphanage

UN Millenium Development Goals

In 2006
By Architecture Sans Frontières - UK
Local partners: Archaos and Hearts of Hope
Donors: Squire and Partners

The AIDS crisis in South Africa has left 12 million orphans aged 0 to 17 (2005). The purpose of the Design Primer Competition for an AIDS orphanage was threefold; to generate ideas or a design primer, to raise awareness of the scale of the AIDS crisis in South Africa and further afield, and to raise money.

It was a theoretical exercise to challenge students to consider how to improve the provision of facilities for AIDS orphans with an emphasis on innovative design ideas in terms of materiality and spatial and formal relationships. It offered an opportunity to enrich a simple building through consideration of shelter, privacy and small scale detailing.

From a notional brief of accommodation, locally sourced materials, budget requirements and environmental considerations a diversity of design ideas emerged. These ranged from pragmatic to playful solutions, at different stages of refinement. Themes of ownership, thresholds and identity were explored through formal and organic solutions in the landscape at different scales.

Category: Competition Medium / Technology / Material: local resources Typology: Orphanage

Construction of a new surgical ward in St Francis Javier Hospital

UN Millenium Development Goals

At FOSO in Ghana
From 2003 to 2005
By Architettura Senza Frontiere Italian Network
Local partners: Sagrado Corazon de Jesus
Donors: Manos Unidas

The San Francisco Javier Hospital, recognised by the National Sanitary System as publichospital of Assin district, is the reference structure for 41 surgeries scattered in the area. The New Surgical Ward project proposal is meant to offer an answer to the increasing demand of beds and to create a ward dedicated to the stay in hospital of post-operated patients. The project solution respects the typologies and the constructional techniques of the existing structures.

The application of environmental planning and the environmental impact valuation are the main methodological aspects applied to have a correct and integral organisationand management of the building process in order to guarantee the real sustainability of the work. The benefits that can be obtained by using renewable energies have been optimised by the use of local resources, producing great advantages for illumination, ventilation andcooling. Correlating typological and technical characteristics of the building with the climate characteristics has minimized the contribution of the systems.

Category: Construction Medium / Technology / Material: renewable energies & local resources Typology: Hospital
exterior corridor
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