Architects Dorian Vauzelle of Mamoth Collective and Nicolas Coeckelberghs of BC architects recently completed a mud-built, one-room preschool in the village of Aknaibich in Morocco. Completed after six months of work, the project was designed with locally sourced natural materials and passive principles to keep temperatures in the classroom comfortable year-round. Although the preschool’s construction is contemporary in appearance, the earthquake-proof structure was built using traditional techniques with the help of local artisans.
The project was created with the support of The GoodPlanet Foundation’s United Carbon Action program, an initiative that works with local communities to minimize their greenhouse gas emissions and construct bioclimatic schools using local natural materials and traditional skills. In addition to providing a new vernacular to the area’s concrete-dominated landscape, the newly inaugurated Aknaibich preschool also gives rural children between the ages of 3 and 6 the opportunity to attend school–until now, children of the village started school at age 6.
The preschool is located between three preserved argan trees and elevated atop the traditionally inclined foundations of locally sourced stone. A wood-and-earth flat roof tops the adobe outer walls and the interior rammed earth walls, which are finished with a mixture of earth and gypsum. Following passive design principles, the architects glazed the north facade to maximize indirect sunlight and positioned a thick wall with deep and small windows on the south facade to minimize solar heat gain during the day but dissipate heat at night.
Images via BC architects