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An elementary school in Mozambique. Project by Aleksandra Krupskaya

11 of February '21

A graduate of the Gdansk University of Technology, inspired by a competition for the design of a kindergarten in Mozambique,{tag:studenci} decided to investigate the subject of architecture and the problems of the poorest areas of Africa. The result of her research is her master's thesis under the supervision of Dr. Mark Gawdzik. The proposed elementary school in Mozambique is a safe place where children can learn, integrate and spend time.

w Mozambiku, dziedziniec

Integration, accessibility, safety, diversity and tolerance were the designer's watchwords

© Aleksandra Krupska

As the author says about the beginning of her work:

Previously, I was not aware of the prevailing situation in Africa and how dramatically, even in the 21st century, life there differs from the everyday life I know. In Poland, it is easy for any of us to get an education. We often treat it as an obligation rather than a privilege, which many people are deprived of. While exploring the topic, I discovered the realizations of a well-known African architect - Francis Kéré, born in the village of Gando (Burkina Faso). His biography, work and design solutions were my main inspiration while working on my diploma. Francis Kéré implements his projects using local materials and simple technologies. His buildings are most often erected by the local community, which, by the way, integrates future users. The designer tries to combine modern architecture with tradition. The work of such architects inspires me and opens my mind, allowing me to be enthusiastic about the future.

Rzut szkoły

The author wanted to create a safe place of integration

© Aleksandra Krupskaya

the problem of education in the world

Access to education in the world is not equal. Some 42 million children in the sub-Saharan part of the continent cannot go to school. In Africa, the illiteracy level is about fifty percent, which means it affects millions of people. In Europe, this level is three percent, and in Poland it is only one. Education conditions vary greatly from one African country to another. Often children do not have time to study because they are forced to work. The situation is similar in Mozambique, where families struggle to meet the most basic needs such as food, running water and sanitation. Being able to get at least a basic level of education is important for a child's development and offers a chance to break the vicious cycle of poverty.

Sale lekcyjne
w szkole w Mozambiku

Vertical wooden blinds facilitate ventilation

© Aleksandra Krupska

school in Mozambique

The main goal of Aleksandra Krupskaya's work was to create a self-sufficient building using local materials. The massing was to be eye-catching in appearance and relate to local architecture and traditions. The building was also to cope with difficult climatic conditions, truncated resources and limitations of technical infrastructure. The author wanted to create a safe space where children could learn, grow in the community and gain a chance for a better future. The slogans that guided her work were inclusion, accessibility, safety, diversity and tolerance. The result was a design for a school that is a place of integration, without gender discrimination and for people with disabilities.

Ściany szkoły
wykonano z glinianej cegły

The walls of the school were made of clay brick

© Aleksandra Krupskaya

The facility was designed for a town located in Gaza province. The proposed building is an elementary school of the first level, designed for children from the age of 6, while the day care center inside it is available for children of all ages. The author created a one-story building, "closed" from the outside - window openings were placed only on the side of the open courtyard. Due to the slope of the site, the architect placed the rooms on four levels. Access to them is possible from two courtyards, located in the central part of the building.

Przekrój szkoły
w Mozambiku

Broken roof with translucent infill

© Aleksandra Krupskaya

The building has been covered with a broken roof with translucent infill, whose shape is reminiscent of open books. The materials used in the project are natural and of local origin. The main building material of the walls is local clay brick.

Materiały budowlane
szkoły w Mozambiku

The author used local materials and Kalwall

© Aleksandra Krupskaya

To maximize ventilation in the rooms, throughout the school, in the spaces between the top edge of the wall and the roof, the author used vertical wooden louvers to facilitate the escape of heated air. The architect also proposed an innovative material solution, using Kalwall as a roof infill. This is a semi-transparent material with thermal insulation that performs well in extreme conditions, allowing light to pass through.

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