Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a literacy rate of 29% (UNESCO Institute for Statistics). The young students of Gando are often the first in their families to learn how to read and write. After the overwhelming success of the Gando Primary School, it soon became clear that additional educational resources were greatly needed for older students. The addition of the Secondary School enabled students to progress further in their studies and pursue a path towards higher education.
Combining both modern and vernacular construction methods, the design shows how a low-tech, energy-saving and low-cost climatic concept can be used in areas of extreme heat and drought. Consisting of a courtyard surrounded by several classroom modules, the Secondary School will accommodate approximately 1000 students from Gando and its adjacent villages. The design includes classrooms, offices, a resource center, an assembly hall, sports field, and sheltered parking for bicycles and motorbikes. In addition to offering resources to students, the Secondary School will also serve as a meeting point for the community, providing facilities for assemblies, gatherings, and events.
The main construction of the school campus is cast-in-place walls made of poured local clay mixed with concrete and aggregate. Double-skin roofs and facades made from clay, metal, and local wood act to protect the interiors from damaging rains and winds. An extensive landscaping program aims to introduce trees and vegetation, which will in time reinforce the surrounding soil against desertification. Other details include passive ventilation, underground cooling, and grey-water usage for irrigating the surrounding landscape.
Funded by the Kéré Foundation, the project is an extension of its mission to expand educational resources for children and young adults while training locals in construction and new building technologies in Gando.
STATUS: Under Construction
SITE: Gando / Burkina Faso
SIZE: 4800 m²
CLIENT: Gando Village Community / Kéré Foundation e.V.
AWARDS: Global Holcim Award Gold 2012 / Regional Holcim Award Gold for Africa and Middle East 2011