The earth school africa

The first step in the competition was to look at the site of the future school; due to its location in a rural area with little urbanity, it was decided that the overarching theme of our designs should be based on environmental integration as well as a sense of local belonging for the future students. The first major challenge in the design process was therefore to preserve all the trees on the site. This is achieved by creating an elegant form between the existing trees. The shape of the school is a combination of design, functionality and sustainable thinking. Due to the climate in Senegal, a ventilated roof was chosen. The proposal was created by repeating a cubic module to create a modular system that could be easily manipulated to meet the site and programme requirements. The functional, expressive shape of the roof is designed to collect rainwater both inside the school and outside for the animals. Due to the possibility of heavy rain and the risk of flooding, the school has been raised by 0.5 metres. The entrance area is highlighted by a canopy. In addition, the multi-functional space with a covered area is located right at the entrance to present the school as a centre for social activities for both the school and the community. The choice of materials was based on recycled, natural, local materials such as clay, wood, straw and stone. Natural stones from the surrounding area were used for the construction of the elevated area and the bricks for the masonry were made using the traditional banko technique. For the false ceiling, adobe panels were made using the traditional Banko technique with a bamboo substructure, and for the trusses and secondary beams, bamboo was used with the traditional joining technique. The roof of the school is also thatched. For optimal performance, two slots were made in the false ceiling. This allows warm air to be naturally exhausted from the classrooms. A filter wall was used for the façade to avoid the installation of expensive windows and to provide the classrooms with optimal natural light. In the design and choice of materials, care has been taken to ensure that all materials used can be returned to nature in an ecological cycle.

Kafountine, Senegal