The height of sustainable design

Friday 02 Dec 2011

First phase of Earthen School Tipu Sultan Merkez completed by Roswag Architekten

The first phase of an inspirational new school project in Jar Maulwi, Pakistan has now been completed and local craftsmen have begun work on an extension volume. Designed by German architects Ziegert Roswag Seiler Architekten Ingenieure in collaboration with local architects Ghayyoor Syed Obaid, this earth and bamboo school offers a sustainable new teaching volume for the local community while providing local craftsmen with new skills to advance their job opportunities.

Much care was taken by the design team to adapt the concept of the school to the skills of local builders so that the traditions of the community could be threaded into the final structure. The entire project is being overseen by school and development organisation Tipu Sultan Merkez (TSM) who will continue to work with the local construction team to hone and develop their traditional skills to a specialist trade.

In Jar Maulwi, the Earthen School Tipu Sultan Merkez is now a freestanding building with a bamboo and brickearth roof, two working classrooms of 88 sq m each and a top floor with bamboo building shell. When completed the school will comprise two small kindergarten groups, five grammar school classes, and five advanced classes (one of which will be reserved for girls only) with a tentative completion date set for June 2012.

The idea for the project was spawned back in 2001 however work did not begin onsite until March 2011. Each phase has been carefully considered and analysed with a Bamboo Ceiling Design Workshop held in February this year to optimise design and construction techniques. The architects have drawn directly from their wealth of experience in sustainable school design and use of natural materials, having been awarded the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for a ‘handmade’ school in Bangladesh, designed eleven village schools with the Aga Khan Foundation in Mozambique, and conceptualising a cultural centre in Ghana.

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