Mozambique Pre School

Type Educational

Location Xai-Xai, Mozambique

Client Estamos Juntos, Somos del Mundo

Year 2019

 

The site is located in the Xai Xai district of Gaza, 1km away from the road that connects the closest villages, Xai Xai and Chongoene.
In this region access to schools is limited and often expensive.
We believe that education is not only acquisition of knowledge, but also values, beliefs and habits, therefore it has to be accessible to everyone.

“ Education is an investment to empower individuals to reach their full potential and to make positive impact on the world.”
– Nelson Mandela

Flor da Manhã is a social pre-school project designed to reflect the vision of a free and egalitarian space where everybody can live in harmony and with equal opportunities and where children can develop skills, confidence and aspirations for the future.

The design concept is based on the idea of a central circular space protected under the canopy of a Mango tree and framed by the classrooms. The tree forms a gathering place and symbolises knowledge.
The radial configuration emphasises the sense of community, engaging a visual interaction between each room and the surroundings.
We designed a space free of hierarchy and easily accessible to everyone through an organic sequence of gently sloped ramps related to the existing topography.

 

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The main path leads from the school entrance towards the circular space, running along a longitudinal building enclosing the functional spaces.
A segment of the circle opens up towards an external playground, visually engaging with the central courtyard emphasizing the relationship between children and nature.

We propose an intriguing composition of forms combining simple elements, using linear, modular and orthogonal connection details.
A flexible school layout provides the potential to change, improve and extend over the time.
We promote an holistic approach that influences community dynamics, bioclimatics, combining local craftsmanship, locally sourced materials with contemporary techniques.

The building proportions focus on the human scale. The walls have a clear horizontal subdivision, an organic base interacts with the children, while the upper section provides a utility wall for the teachers.

The base of the school layout is formed by rammed earth and supports compressed earth block walls. Coupled timber columns are anchored to these walls and extend higher to support the roof and form a plenum space to encourage natural ventilation.
The roofs overhang to protect from any weather condition. The entire surface is used to collect rainwater that flows tracing the building layout towards the cistern located at the lowest point of the site. Photovoltaic panels and thermal collectors are integrated to the roof.

We propose a simple construction process that everyone can learn to take part and re-propose on future developments.
We aim for an innovative school design, moving away from the standard format.
The challenge of limited resources for this project becomes an opportunity.

 

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