The high school is located in Marsassoum, a village by the Soungrougou
river in Haute Casamance, Senegal.
We envision a lively environment that offers
more than a place to learn, but also acts as a place where students can connect
and support each other. Our desire is to create a structure that can breathe. The
classrooms, along with an organic covered ring, revolve around a central
courtyard, a well of natural light all through the day. This central open space
is the heart of the school, where students can meet during the day, under the
generous shade of a Moraceae tree. Thanks to the vertical folding screens made
of woven “seko” bamboos, the space can
accommodate four large classrooms when needed, or it can be opened into one
generous communal ring. It becomes a meeting place where students can form
small groups around a table and have their own physical space to read, reflect,
This school is thought for the community. We seek to preserve local craftsmanship and we leverage local materials as
the most direct way to respond to the climate and present needs. For in it lies
all its spirit and resourcefulness, from which we can develop both vernacular
and new techniques which the locals could easily repeat. Porous elements such
as the palm roof and the woven screens below the high ceiling let the light and
air through the classrooms. The earth walls made of “banco” adobe bricks
regulate the temperatures. The school’s autonomy is supported by a system of
collection and distribution of rainwater. From the core of the school around
the central tree, this is a place where knowledge is transmitted in circles.
Made of earth, fiber, water and light, we envision an organic space that
supports its students and community in self-learning.
This proposal for a competition is a collaboration with Giacomo Monari and Antoine Gouachon.