LET'S BOND THROUGH BRICKS
SENEGAL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape
Marsassoum, Kolda, Senegal
“Let’s Bond through Bricks”aims to compliment the“Build Your Own School” Initiative to help the local Senegalese Community to construct their very own school using local construction materials.
The layout of the school is flexible to enable extension of classroom spaces for larger batches of children when needed. While each of the 7 classroom blocks can fit 45 students comfortably, they also open out into covered or open-aired courtyards which can serve as additional classroom spaces.
The Educational Garden, chicken corral as well as the courtyard space also acts as an outdoor learning environment where the children can learn about local cash crops (such as ground nuts, mango, corn, cherry tomatoes and kassia), flora and fauna which can become transferrable skills when they start work to compliment the local agricultural industry.
This mix of dedicated classroom spaces, covered courtyards, and outdoor learning spaces will provide a holistic learning environment for the children. The multiple series of covered and open-aired courtyards also serve as activity and play spaces for the children during their free time. This keeps them in school and off the streets.
Bonding the school and the community is an important goal of this proposal. Locally-made red bricks will be the main construction material to create a monolithic architectural space and serve to be a physical reminder of the community’s involvement in the building for their future generation. It will also create jobs for the local brick-making industry. The other materials used in the construction process will also help enhance the existing construction vocabulary of the local workers. Corrugated metal roof construction, and improvements on existing traditional woven bamboo techniques for doors, windows and roofs will help the locals’ construction for their own homes.
The construction process is not the only time the school and community bonds.The school is also designed to be an open and community-centric space. While classrooms may be used for jobs or skills training for adults outside of school hours, the courtyard spaces and the area under the big tree can be used for community gatherings, weekend markets or community events.