Gallery: AGA KHAN AWARDS: METI School of Rudrapur, Bangladesh


The Aga Khan Award for Architecture recognizes distinguished architecture that encourages social development, restoration, re-use and environmental responsibility in the Islamic world. One of the winning projects, the METI School of Rudrapur in Bangladesh, is a great example of these values. The school is an amazing hand-built project that showcases great sustainable design practices and locally-sensitive architecture. Elegantly fusing local knowledge, readily available renewable materials and new construction techniques, the project maintains a traditional identity while embracing modernity in both its form and purpose.

Volunteer architects Anna Heringer and Eike Roswag developed the design concept by considering local cultural, economic and ecological aspects. The school is based on regional construction and local materials but implemented with modifications that add efficiency and structural integrity, important factors in the densely populated, flood prone region.

To allow for a second story, the designers improved the bamboo structural system and lashing. They also opted for a brick foundation with a damp proof course to overcome the inevitable rising moisture in the earthen walls. The kiln brick detail enlisted craftspeople from a district 20 kilometers away. The rest of the construction was a collaborative effort between the architects, local craftspeople, students, parents and teachers.

The school building embodies many of the guiding principles behind METI (Modern Education and Training Institute) teaching, an initiative of the Bangladeshi sustainable development NGO Dipshikha. Learning with joy, team-based education, and utilization of nature are all elements of this Montessori-like school.

This hands-on connection was central to the architects’ vision. They wanted technical improvements to become part of local knowledge for application in future development. Locally available expertise, skills and materials are all a part of the school’s sustainability goals as an environmentally sound, structurally superior catalyst for the local economy and education system.

At the center of the project are the students themselves, many who helped form the thick walls that keep their classrooms cool and hung the shutters that allow natural daylight and ventilation. Under the shaded garden façade where colorful sari material contrasts the school’s earth tone walls, the students of the METI School leave their shoes along an expansive veranda and enter the handmade structure built to bring out the best in them. It is with intent that the principles guiding their education take form in the building that surrounds them. The structure, like the program within, serves as a wonderful example for a sustainable future.

The METI School in Rudrapur is a recipient of a 2007 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The project has also been recognized by the 2007 International Bamboo Building Design Competition as a Visionary Design for Ecological Living, received a 2006 AR Award for Emerging Architecture and the 2006-07 Kenneth F. Brown Asia Pacific Culture and Architecture Design Awards.

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  1. Md.Akramul Haque December 11, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Im a student of dream is to work like this in future.i just love the whole design of meti school.very very good wishes to Anna Heringer.

    Read more: AGA KHAN AWARDS: METI School of Rudrapur, Bangladesh | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

  2. nkafoundation October 24, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Thank you Anna Heringer, we will continue to follow the developments. And to all young architects: Here is the link as invitation or to pass on to others who may be interested in similar NEEDS opportunity: or e-mail your idea to: info @
    Specifically, we are an NGO with a focus on human capital development through the arts in Africa (Ghana, Burkina Faso and Mali). We have ongoing needs for advocates, all students and graduates of architecture, engineering, construction and design with big ideas about VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE AND THE 21st CENTURY to use our Arts Village sites to conceptualize a program and run it with us.

  3. architecturekids April 7, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Great project !
    Information of METI SCHOOL and another architectural projects for kids in

  4. archkids April 7, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Great project !
    Information and pictures of this project and other architectural projects for kids in

  5. Zarin Tasnim June 7, 2010 at 5:02 am

    Im a student of dream is to work like this in future.i just love the whole design of meti school.very very good wishes to Anna Heringer.

  6. luvbabydiana December 21, 2009 at 1:53 am

    Anybody know how to get the scale drawing of this project ?

  7. aankit doni September 18, 2009 at 8:25 am

    hey a very low cost building ultimately neede in countries like bangladesh but could any one explain that how much safe these building is frm structure point of view can i have structural details of these building including footings beams….

  8. nazmul haque April 29, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    its really crative work

  9. raajkumar March 16, 2009 at 1:49 am

    I am working on schools in afganistan and was much impressed with the usage of local available materials, which inspired me to built few in different provinces. I hope i can take the help of the architects.

  10. moshiur rahman khan December 19, 2008 at 5:21 am

    it is very appreciable that low cost school project is going to nominated for the aga khan aarchitecture award.
    I am very proud that this school project eshtablished in our country Bangladesh. we are hopefull for our next generation for emphasis better architecture for better living.

  11. wmart December 4, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Bravo to Anna Heringer and Eike Roswag, as a lecturer of arch. I say this is one of the great architectures!

  12. wmart December 4, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Bravo to Anna Heringer and Eike Rooswag, as univ.lecturer of arch. I say this is one of the great architectures!

  13. Anindya November 18, 2008 at 4:55 am

    nice school. as a student of architecture i think we need to concern about our environment and thats why we need to design any structure like it. really its a nice environment friendly design. great work…

  14. ihaqa March 23, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    nice building, right place and right time and than right award “AGA KHAN”


  15. Mohammed Imtiaz February 24, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    This is a very unique and milestone for the development of education sector in bangladesh, specially in the rural area and villages where the poor kids really do not go to school or cant not afford. This kind of effort will definately set the tone to encourage the uneducated to send thir children to school, as well as the children will be more intersted to come to school

  16. Md. Shahidul alam January 28, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    We really are interested to know the floor area and the cost of costruction. How many students are currently benfitted from the school is another important aspect

  17. Nathalie Grelet January 14, 2008 at 11:12 am

    i am looking at this school in Bangladesh and i think it is really wonderful.
    Talking of Bnagladesh i would like myself to develop a project of selling goods made out of local bangladesh materials in Europe AND VERY IMPORTANT using local designers of Bangladesh.
    Does some one can recommend me local designers ???
    Thankx in adv for your help
    my very best regards Nathalie from France

  18. Samina Ali December 13, 2007 at 11:47 am

    Wonderful! Its so nice to see sustainable architecture in practice in Bangladesh! I mean, natural materials such as clay, bamboo, hay and straw have been used intensively there. But when we have sustainability and resilience in mind, we can take our already healthy design to a newer level. This school is a good example of how to create a sustainable building with natural and indigenous materials, assuming that the building design provides natural heating and cooling for the building, as needed.
    How is the thermal comfort level inside the structure in winter and summer?

  19. nabiha fahim November 22, 2007 at 8:31 am

    what was the cost of this school?

  20. nabiha fahim November 22, 2007 at 8:27 am

    how can we articulate the architectural elements as a learning process? and how can the elements act as a teacher for young children?

  21. nabiha hashmi November 22, 2007 at 8:20 am

    the use of tradional material is indeed innovative

  22. Iqra Gagai November 22, 2007 at 8:14 am

    the cost of the building would be relatively low as the use of natural material really helped in doing is also commendable on how natural and tradional use of material is done in an innovative way.

  23. Nabiha Hashmi November 22, 2007 at 8:12 am

    how can we articulate these architectural elements as learning process for children?

  24. Iqra Gagai November 22, 2007 at 8:10 am

    the use of natural materials and the innovative way they are used is very aesthetically encourages one to use natural materials in reference to the context.

  25. iqbal azeem November 22, 2007 at 8:04 am

    You can view the architectural drawings on Aga Khan Award Winning Projects site, i think you can get the plan from that site.

  26. Nabiha Hashmi November 22, 2007 at 8:01 am

    how can we articulate the architectural elemnts through learning? how can the elements act as a teacher for young children??

  27. Iqra Gagai November 22, 2007 at 8:00 am

    a sustainable and a low cost project.efficient use of materials is done here, where the budget was the main issue.all traditional methods and natural materials used in an innovative way.

  28. Raquib November 15, 2007 at 5:37 am

    as a student of architecture, i want to know the maintainance of the bamboo ribs.

  29. Mahvish Khan Sherwani November 3, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    Its a great project, it would be really kind of you to please publish ARCHITECTURAL DRAWINGS (plan, section, elevation) of this project it will make it more convinient to understand the structural system and layout of the building.

  30. mustafa ashfaque November 1, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    great job indeed. many thanks to the volunteers.
    may i know the cost & time involved in making a such construction?

  31. Saurabh Tewari October 22, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    One of the better examples in contemporary practices of understanding the context and requirement physically, psychologically and finally architecturely within the constraints of available resources.

  32. pratima October 13, 2007 at 6:43 am

    great..being a student of architecture aids in adding up something really brilliant into my knowledge store…

  33. Mark Wetherald September 29, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    When I saw this school featured on a BBC documentary about the Aga Khan Awards, it has gave me both inspiration and food for thought. Thumbs up to the architects and the local craftsmen for an amazing job!!.
    My wife and I work with hilltribes villagers in her home province in Northern Thailand. The use of locally available materials along with local skills is something we also encourage. Since Thailand’s climate is very similar to Bangladesh’s; the design concepts and construction of the METI school would easily translate to Thai conditions. The main differences between the two locales are, the area we work in is mountainous and therefore not very prone to flooding. Also our greatest problem is mosquitoes, therefore we would need netting over our windows.
    Thank you for the inspirational ideas……..
    Mark & Wilawan Wetherald

  34. anna heringer September 15, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    Thanks for spreading our project! Great website – congratulations…
    and for Omar: Rudrapur is in a small village in the North of Bangladesh, close to Dinajpur. 6 months buildinng period with about 25 persons. It was a great time…

  35. Omar Farook September 13, 2007 at 3:42 am

    Where is Rudrapur? Is it in Manikganj? How long did it take to make and how many people were involved?

  36. Monzur Murshed September 10, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    What was the cost to build this school? It will be great if BD Govt. can make one such school in every village.

  37. anon September 8, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    Looks like a peaceful place…

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