The primary objective of this project was to design a sustainable building appropriate for the climatic conditions in this part of Africa. Laterite stone, which is abundant in this region, was chosen as the main building material. The building is oriented along an East-West axis and the roof has a substantial overhang in order to reduce the amount of sunlight received by the walls. The building consists of three classrooms, a computer room and office space. There is also a covered outdoor "conversation pit", of comparable size to a classroom. The students can sit here during break times.
Natural ventilation is achieved by means of slits in the suspended ceiling, the incline of the corrugated metal roof and the shuttered windows. This is a more sustainable solution than the often-copied western model of construction, for which artificial air-conditioning would be required in this part of the world. Diminishing fossil fuel resources and increasing energy prices mean that self-sufficiency is crucial, especially in a country like Burkina Faso, which is ranked in second to last place on the UN poverty list and has to meet its complete energy demand by means of import.
This entire project was carried out in cooperation with young people who were trained in previous projects sponsored by Francis Kere's foundation, Schulbausteine für Gando e.V.. Through this working model, the local workforce gained not only a newfound appreciation of traditional building materials, but also further experience, training and education.
STATUS: Completed 2007
SITE: Dano / Burkina Faso
SIZE: 510 m²
CLIENT: Dreyer Foundation Munich
AWARDS: 6th edition of the International Sustainable Architecture Prize, special mention 2008 / Global Award for Sustainable Architecture 2009 / BSI Swiss Architectural Award 2010