Architecture firm NUDES has released details of their proposed secondary school in Malawi, constructed from straw bales. Responding to a brief focused on modularity, incremental expansion, deployment, and sustainable technology, the scheme is formed of a modular “ladder” component deployed to create a structural system that houses the pedagogical intent of the school.
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Burckhardt+Partner has released details of their proposed secondary school in Malawi. Finalists in a competition for the school’s design, the Burckhardt+Partner scheme embodies the old African proverb that it takes a community to educate a child, rather than simply the walls, roofs, and books of a school. The St. Paul’s new secondary school therefore embraces its community, inviting the adjacent parish and primary school to grow together as a village.
Are we going to follow a model of unsustainable building and construction similar to what I witnessed in China—or can we develop a uniquely African model of sustainable, and equitable development? I'm optimistic we can.
Steven Holl Architects have revealed plans for a new library and campus design in Malawi, coinciding with the project’s approval by The Miracle for Africa Foundation. To be constructed of local stone, bamboo and concrete, the library will provide 66,000 square feet (6,132 square meters) of study and gathering space to the community.
Architecture is a unique component of a country's culture just as much as its language, music, art, literature or food. Architecture is also the most visual of those cultural components; the pyramids in Egypt, skyscrapers in New York, a temple in Japan, and onion domes in Russia all convey a unique image. This is called “genius loci,” the “spirit of a place”. Every country has its own genius loci, its own uniqueness. Vernacular architecture is composed of local materials and derived from local customs, techniques that have been passed on from generation to generation. But vernacular architecture in most (if not all) African countries is disappearing, being abandoned for western materials and techniques.
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