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METI Handmade School, Rudrapur, Bangladesh

Friday 13 Feb 2009

Get your hands dirty

images: Kurt Hoerbst 
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Award Entry

School in Rudrapur brings back community values 

Rudrapur lies in the north of Bangladesh. Poverty and the lack of an infrastructure drive many people from the countryside into the cities. The local NGO Dipshikha wants to give the rural population perspectives and to help people learn about the value of the village in all its complexity.

The main philosophy of the METI School is learning with joy. The teachers facilitate the children to develop their own potential and to use it in a creative and responsible way. The building reflects these ideas in terms of materials, techniques and architectural design. The aim of the project is to improve existing building techniques, to contribute to sustainability by utilising local potential and to strengthen regional identity. We believe that architecture is more than shelter. It is intimately connected with the creation of identity and self-confidence. And this is the basis of development.

The school provides the children different spaces and atmospheres for learning. At the ground floor the more intimate classrooms are connected through boltholes with caves, formed out of earth and bamboo. It is a retreat area for the children to read or to reflect, to work in teams or alone and for playing.

The first floor is airy, built in a light bamboo construction where the sunlight paints patterns though the bamboo shutters on the earth floor and the ceiling is colourful draped with floating sharis. The view widens up there over the village pond and into the palm trees. The school building was built by experts and volunteers from Germany and Austria, led by Anna Heringer and Eike Roswag, together with local craftsmen, teachers and students from September 2005 to April 2006.

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Anna Heringer Architecture

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