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Mexico’s straw preschool

| June 21, 2016 | 0 Comments

Waldorf schools are spreading throughout the world. If you travel to Cuernavaca, México, you will find the Tecilli Classroom. This Waldorf preschool classroom was built in just eight weeks, thanks to a collaboration between designer Laboratorio Arquitectura Básica Mx and community members, including parents, who used sustainable materials and strategies to help reduce the school’s carbon footprint. The learning centre is made entirely of locally sourced agricultural waste straw.

“Tecilli” means butterfly cocoon in Nahuatl, the Uto-Aztecan language of Mexico, and the classroom is meant to be a cocoon in which to nurture the children who learn and play there. Before
construction began a couple of years ago, the teachers asked for a fairytale-like room with arches and curves, niches and colourful walls. Arches, curves, nooks for storage, peephole windows and decorated walls were all incorporated into the room.

The straw bales used for the classroom would otherwise have been burned, resulting in significant CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. Easy to stack and mould, the straw, covered with a combination of local clay and a natural earthen/lime paint mixture, is a cheap source of thermal and acoustic insulation. Inside, natural daylight and ventilation create a healthy and vibrant space in which to learn.

Category: Winter 2016

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