F8 Architecture established a set of key principles while designing the Falatow Jigiyaso Orphanage: Reduce solar gain, embrace natural ventilation, and improve thermal mass. To this end, hollow “H”-shaped concrete blocks filled with banco (a mixture of mud and grain husks), were used to construct the walls. A second roof provides shelter from the sun by covering the bulk of the building and a terrace used for children’s activities on the first floor. Natural ventilation was achieved through a carefully planned layout and the addition of vent grills in each of the buildings.
Seeing as Mali faces serious water issues, the water waste management system was a key feature of the project. After solid waste has been separated out, the liquid passes through a bio-filter that uses anaerobic bacteria to purify the water. This purified water then flows into an open pond used for fish farming, and overflow is used for agriculture. The system is so effective that it results in several harvests a year instead of just one. These features resulted in a building perfectly suited to its surroundings that gives children a chance to learn about gardening and fish farming.
Images by F8 Architecture