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Gando School Library

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After the great success of the Primary School, the construction of a 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-carrying 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.  The intention of the space is to mesh traditional tribal teaching methods between elders and children with the more standardized learning environment of the schools.

The School Library ceiling makes use of a widely-recognized handicraft in the form of 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 in the interior spaces. 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, providing 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 leaches 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.  In addition to supporting the educational needs of the children of Gando, the library is also intended as a resource center for the village as a whole.  The library provides a substantially improved environment for the transference of knowledge in a climactically arid region with virtually no access to modern resources and amenities.

STATUS: Under Construction
SITE: Gando / Burkina Faso

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