A school in Mali

Kym Field School for Tropical Savanna Climate of Africa
International Competition
First Prize

The project consists of two buildings and two courtyards. One building is dedicated to the classrooms, the other one to the annexed facilities. The sequence of open and closed spaces gradually filters uses and activities from the more public sphere and rural routines to the intimate space of study, concentration, group discussion and play.
A rectangular courtyard provides a representative zone welcoming not only the children with their parents but also citizens and visitors to the school. On the opposite, the circular playground is accessible only through the classrooms as an enclosed children’s domain.
The basic module of the school is the single room covered by a dome (2.5x2.5m) typical for households and granaries. The facility building is composed of an enfilade of six rooms for living, working and maintenance of the school. The single unit is extended into a vaulted space and later juxtaposed to form the classroom.
Building materials are directly found on site and related to traditional Mali construction techniques and knowledge such as rammed-earth (or pisé) usually grounded on a plinth made of local stones, bricks or wood. Rammed-earth and adobe brick construction offer a perfect thermal insulation and a strong load-bearing structure.