It feels a bit weird posting about a school design in the midst of a pandemic where school just isn’t a good idea for many areas. That said, this school is very airy and has plenty of outdoor areas, all perfect for the local climate in which it sits. One quick look also tells you that it’s fully embracing its context not only in terms of the sun, but also of its people and traditions.
Reminiscent in many ways of the Fass School over in Senegal, this school in Burkina Faso embraces the students in a circular form to create a strong around which the classrooms, office, and lunchrooms reside. The repetitive peaked form of the undulating roof is reminiscent of a circle of tents, with the largest being a grand open-air entry into the sanctum. They also funnel and collect water into underground cisterns.
The heavy surrounding walls provide a thermal mass to help keep the insides cool, along with ventilator blocks along the upper half that allow hot air to escape and cooler breezes to enter. The whole of the perimeter is panted by local craftsmen with traditional patterns. Louvered walls on the inside allows additional light and air to flow through while connecting each room to the courtyard.
I dig it. It’s expressive and built with care, something of the place built for the place and it’s community.