The School of Tyres is located in Area C of the Occupied Palestinian Territory in the West Bank. Constraints on the area required that the school be temporary, which means it had to be built without a foundation or even cement. ARCò architettura e cooperazione handled the design and managed the construction of the school, which utilizes earthship construction techniques and old recycled tires. The local community worked together to build the school by hand in just two weeks.
Built for the Vento di Terra o.n.g. and the Jerusalem Beduin Cooperative Commitee, the School of Tyres is a practical solution to provide an education for the children of the Al Khan Al Ahmar Bedouin Camp. ARCò architettura e cooperazione designed the school and led the local community in the construction of the buildings. The school is composed of three main buildings around a central courtyard along with a bathroom building to one side.
The tires were filled and packed tightly with dirt and arranged to build the walls of the buildings. Dirt was filled around the base to improve the structural stability as there is no true foundation. The dirt around the interior courtyard was formed into steps to access the interior and act as seating. Metal roofing was added to the top and provides shade with large overhangs and gaps between the tires and roofing allowed for natural ventilation to keep the interior cool. Finally, the walls were coated with a mixture of plaster and concrete.
The simple construction and smart design of the school provides relative comfort with minimal materials and costs. Everything was done by hand by members of the community, and amazingly this all took only two weeks to complete. According to ARCò, the current status of the school is in limbo, because the Israeli Military Authorities have never recognized the existence of the the building or the surrounding Bedouin camp. At any moment, the army could demolish the school and relocate the entire camp. The community is working with international agencies to solidify their status with the army, and develop a long term, master plan for the area.