Dutch architects Joop and Jurriaan van Stigt from Dogon Onderwijs (Dogon Education) recently led a school construction project in the remote Dogon region of Mali. Although resources were very scarce, the designers built the shelters from a widely available material: earth blocks. The construction process provided a workshop environment where local villagers could learn about earth block building techniques, and the resulting buildings pay homage to local traditional design.
The project needed a school and also some house to allocate the teachers.
This new school is replacing an old one on the same site and is attended by kids from three villages in the area, so it was decided that should be on the main road.
Completely made from compressed earth blocks with a layer of cement (waterproof), he shelters are cool inside and can stand 45C outside.
With great airflows and gargoyles the houses where built with the help of local people, a local Dogon architecture tradition.
The use of wood was rejected because native hardwood is scarce in the area and because termites would eat it the building away.
An example on makings things locally, the bricks where made on site thanks to the help of people and a wheeled low-tech machine.