Despite soaring summertime temperatures in Senegal, the gorgeous terracotta-colored Jean Mermoz High School only relies on mechanical air-conditioning two months out of the year. Terreneuve Architects leaned on the expertise of local craftsmen to realize this striking contemporary design, which has a remarkably small energy load thanks to a series of passive design strategies .
Mostly locally-sourced materials were used to construct the Jean Mermoz High School in Dakar, which cut down the project’s carbon footprint considerably. Further reducing its environmental impact, the school was designed in strategically-oriented parallel sections that mitigate excess solar gain and form small green courtyards and shaded areas. The classrooms are very well lit, naturally, and are equipped with all of the latest educational tools.
The double walls are also ventilated, ensuring that a nice breeze can permeate both indoor and outdoor areas, while the roofs of the building have high thermal inertia. Waste is treated on site and the school harvests and treats its own rainwater. As for the color choice, the French designers chose terracotta because of how well it resonates with the red earth of Dakar, while splashes of bright color breaks up any monotony. Seriously, this must be one of the prettiest schools in all of Africa.