A lush wilderness characterizes the plot where the kids will play one day. In a first step we define the plot with a perimeter wall. The buildings will be placed adjacent so that they become part of the wall. The result is a spacious, protected courtyard in the centre. A covered path with ramps connects all the buildings and allows for obstacle-free access to every room.
Functions that produce wastewater will be placed in the lower part of the plot to ease the handling of sewage and food waste. In the higher part we allocate the administrational and school services.
The gable roofs are shaped in order to give shade and to direct the rainwater to the cisterns in the courtyard. The use of the rainwater and the local materials are guiding principles for the design of the school.
A mix of local stones, cement and earth is used for the foundations. Concrete ringbeams in combination with CEB columns form the loadbearing system. CEB’s (Compressed Earth Blocks), weaved palm-thatched boards, branch-boards and wooden doors/windows are used for the infills. Pinewood trusses covered in palm thatch make up the roof construction.
The main room of each classroom is accessible from the ground floor. There are big shelves between the classes which are used for storage. The mezzanine level offers additional space. A net that spans over the open space is introduced as a playful climbing area.There is space for gardens or an extension of the school in the Northern part of the site.
The courtyard is divided into an outdoor play area in front of the classrooms and an orchard in front of the kitchen. Cisterns are placed in both gardens for the various uses of the water. A well complements the cisterns in case of a drought. Parts of the courtyard garden as well as some outdoor areas between the buildings are covered to offer outdoor spaces that can be used even in bad weather conditions.
Our preschool proposal has the goal to create safe, exiting and diverse spaces for learning and playing. The perimeter wall and the buildings shelter the inner courtyard where the kids can roam freely. Locally sourced materials and processes do not only benefit the school but also local businesses. The possibility to use the school as emergency shelter furthermore raises its social and humanitarian value. The project focuses on the kids, but gives value back to the whole community.