Kéré Architecture Kéré Architecture

Gando School Library

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After the great success of the Gando Primary School, the construction of the School Extension and School Library was initiated in Gando to help support the growing number of students coming from surrounding villages. The library building forms a physical connection between the Primary School and its extension, sheltering the school yard from dusty eastern winds. Keeping with the same material palette as the surrounding buildings, the walls of the library are built with compressed earth blocks made with local clay. The geometry of the library is formally distinct from the others however, taking on more of an organic elliptical shape reminiscent of the traditional vernacular housing in the region. he space is meant to unite traditional teaching methods between elders and children with the schools’ standardized learning environment. In addition to supporting the educational needs of the children of Gando, the Library is also intended as a resource centre for the village as a whole. The Library provides a substantially improved environment for the transfer of knowledge.

The School Library ceiling uses a widely-recognized handicraft: locally produced earthenware pots. Traditionally hand-built by the women of the village, the clay pots were sawed in half and then cast into the ceiling. These circular openings create a playful pattern and introduce natural light and passive ventilation inside the Library. An overhanging corrugated iron roof sits above this ceiling, protecting the interior and surrounding spaces from sun and rain.  The stack effect created by the hot metal surface draws cooler air in from the windows and out through the perforations in the ceiling. This provides a passive cooling strategy without the use of electricity.



The study area surrounding the library is shaded and protected by a transparent screen of eucalyptus columns. Eucalyptus is generally thought of as a weed because it provides very little shade and absorbs moisture from the soil. This fast growing, hardy plant is an appropriate building material for a country such as Burkina Faso, which suffers from desertification due to deforestation. The eucalyptus façade elements are also used to form alcoves for sitting and relaxing in the shade.

STATUS: Under Construction
SITE: Gando / Burkina Faso

SIZE: 500
CLIENT: Gando Village Community / Kéré Foundation e.V. / Hevert Arzneimittel GmbH und Co Kg /