This newly completed education center in Nyanza, Rwanda is a subtle design that uses local materials and crafts with a sophisticated layout to provide for a multitude of community needs. Designed by Dominikus Stark Architekten, the structure has been purposely built using simple building forms and established local building materials arranged in a way that creates multiple layers of spaces in a contemporary form. Thepassively cooledcomplex was constructed completely with local labor and materials like clay adobe bricks, steel, wicker and papyrus.

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The outward face of the complex is largely protected, and you can find just a public internet café and coffeehouse accessible from the road. The buildings maintain a courtyard house, a library, laboratory, classrooms, and a main hall that is used as a cafeteria and social gathering space for private events. By providing multiple venues the complex hopes to become a central social and learning hub for the two towns it is situated between.

The inner courtyard is highlighted by a glazed vestibule on one side, and a row of wicker doors on the other. The transitions protect the interior from a hot sun and the thermal mass of the clay brick walls and natural ventilation through the wicker doors maintains a comfortable climate inside. Openings set high in the exterior adobe brick walls allow hot stale air to escape. Interior ceilings are finished in papyrus reeds – a robust grass that replaces scarce wood. The roof collectsrainwater as well to supplement the precious local supply.

+ Dominikus Stark Architekten

Via e-architect