These walls are finished with a render consisting of earth, straw and sand. The methods employed in the development of the £18,000 school are intended to demonstrate the potential for integrating traditional construction alongside more modern building techniques to create affordable architecture. Architects Nicolas Coeckelberghs and Dorian Vauzelle Mamoth collaborated with local workers in the Moroccan town of Aknaibich to construct this school building using local methods including adobe brickworking (+ slideshow). Woven rattan spread across the roof is covered with a thick layer of earth and an additional cork surface to restrict the building’s internal temperature. The traditional building techniques employed in the project include the use of inclined foundations made from local stone, and support walls formed from sun-dried adobe bricks – a building block made from mud. Ring beams made from cement and connected by vertical bars help to reinforce the adobe brick walls and address the paraseismic issues resulting from building in this earthquake-prone region. Related story: African children’s library with rammed earth walls by BC ArchitectsThe school is situated in the new part of the town, where most buildings are constructed from concrete. Following a workshop with members of the community, it was decided to base the new classroom building on the traditional architecture of the old town, which consists of earthen structures arranged along narrow alleys. A thick south-facing wall with small and deep openings helps to minimise unwanted solar gain during the day but stores the sun’s heat and gradually releases it when needed in the evening. Project Credits:
Architects: BC architects + Mamoth
Local material consultancy: BC Studies + Mamoth
Community participation and organisation: BC Studies, Mamoth and the Goodplanet Foundation
Cooperation: Frank Stabel, Thomas Joos, Alina Negru, Carole Fournier and Elisabetta Carnevale
Client: Community of Aknaibich through the Goodplanet Foundation
Floor plan – click for larger imageSection – click for larger image Photography is by Frank Stabel. The building’s plot dictated some of the design’s key characteristics, including the positioning of most of the windows and doors on the north facade to allow indirect sunlight to illuminate the interior. “By following the grid-like layout of the existing school rooms, the preschool of Aknaibich creates an interesting juxtaposition of the new vernacular next to the existing modern,” said the architects, “maybe inspiring the way forward for future constructions within the community of Aknaibich.”
The project was managed on site by architect Frank Stabel and involved the participation of a group of architecture students from Belgian university KU Leuven as well as the local workers.