Bangladesh is where you will find almost 1 000 people per square kilometre. Over 80% of the population is rural, and live and go to school in rudimentary structures without damp coursing or foundations. Such buildings rarely last more than a decade.
To create a more sustainable school, German architects Anna Heringer and Eike Roswag teamed up with the Bangladeshbased Modern Education and Training Institute (METI) to create the Handmade School in Rudrapur, Dinajpur, Bangladesh, in just four months.
The building, which earned the architects the Aga Khan award for architecture, promotes the METI philosophy of learning, which takes into account children’s varying learning speeds. The school provides several kinds of learning spaces: on the ground floor is an organic system of caves made of soft earth – ideal, say the architects, for “touching, for nestling up against, for retreating into for exploration or concentration, on one’s own or in a group”.
By contrast, the spacious upper level is made of bamboo, but is largely open with expansive views across the village.
The school was built by local community members using the same materials commonly employed in all Bangladeshi construction, but with solid foundations and thorough dampproofing.
Category: Spring 2015