Kéré Architecture Kéré Architecture

Gando Teachers' Housing

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The teachers' houses were designed to attract teachers to the countryside, as well as to promote the use of earth as a sustainable and durable building material. The houses were realized as a series of adaptable modules, each of comparable size to the traditional round huts typically found in this region. Single modules can be combined in various ways into a larger composite whole. The simplicity of the design and minimal use of bought materials means that it can easily be adopted by the inhabitants. The six houses for teachers and their families are arranged in a wide arc to the south of the school complex. This curvilinear layout is reminiscent of a traditional Burkinabé compound. The roofs are barrel vaults constructed from stabilized earth blocks. This construction method, previously unheard of in this region, makes use of local resources and is climatically efficient. 

A tie beam connecting the walls bears the roof load in each module. The roof is a layer of reinforced concrete poured in situ into a permanent shuttering of compressed stabilized earth blocks (CSEBs). The alternating roof heights introduce a crescent-shaped opening between the overlaps, serving as a means to ventilate the interior and provide daylight. The culmination of the building work is the tamping of the clay floor to create a smooth, homogeneous surface. The enthusiastic involvement of the people of Gando was the key to the success of this project. Everyone gained not only new skills but also a sense of responsibility, awareness and sensitivity to both the traditional and the innovative aspects of building.

STATUS: Completed 2004
SITE: Gando / Burkina Faso

SIZE: 1250
CLIENT: Gando Village Community / Kéré Foundation e.V.
AWARDS: BSI Swiss Architectural Award 2010