Bamboo School: DIY school building for refugees in Thailand

Bamboo School for Burmese Refugees

Children could be our best ambassadors in our fight against all global environment problems. The question is, how do we do this? Architects at the 2bw Studio have shown the way with a unique modular Bamboo School for Myanmarese refugees. The demountable model enures flexibility to relocate the school whenever necessary and the use of bamboo material ensures low cost, less technical dependence and environment friendliness. It sits lightly on the ground and can be easily moved from one place to another as required on a very short notice. The design also provides maximum visual security for children as entire school could be watched from most of the angles.

The Bamboo School design was one of the winning entries in the recently held international design competition organized by the Building Trust International. The country is facing one of the worst refugee problem in the world under the military rule. Keeping this problem as the motivation, the organizers had called for a modular and demountable schools design for refugees.

Based on the modular construction system, the Bamboo School building could be easily expanded according to the amount of available land and the number of students in future. The school features a central playing area while the rest of the blocks lie on a perimeter. The building blocks have been so arranged to provide maximum visible security. As such, it not only provides a protected space for the children, but can also be monitored from most of the angles. There is one entrance and all the visitors have to first pass through the admin block while entering the school.

The major parts of the building like walls, floors and roof panels are made from standard 1220mm x 610mm plywood size. All of these panels are retrievable and reusable for multiple purposes. The color of the panels have been kept earthy and natural to reflect a connection with the surrounding. To ensure a visible link between the building materials, form and landscape, the designers have kept the vertical bamboo columns visible. Also, they believe that the entire building could be used for other communal activities as well.

It would not require specially trained individuals for erecting or dismantling the building. Considering that refugees have to repeatedly relocate from one place to another, the Bamboo School has been so designed to allow easy dismantling. This reflects the do-it-yourself (DIY) nature of the Bamboo School. There are also provisions for rain water harvesting. For shading, projected bamboo roof separated from the classroom structure has been used. It reduces the unwanted heat gains and provides a sheltered terrace.

Eco-conscious buildings are the need of the day all across the world. Also, millions of children who are deprived of education because of war, natural calamities and other problems need special attention as they could be tomorrow’s world leaders. The present Bamboo School model could be adopted for providing a teaching space to children in all parts of the world.

Via: Aeccafe

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