magadi cladssroom prototype
Soaring temperatures and large class sizes can make learning challenging for children in rural Kenya. The Magadi Classroom prototype attempts to mitigate these challenges by providing a well-equipped learning environment kept cool through passive design strategies.
During the day, the thermal mass of the external gabion walls absorb heat to cooler indoor temperatures when the classroom is in use. Large louvred windows on the eastern and western facades screen the interior from glare and encourage cross ventilation. The shaded walkway provides a screened waiting area for the children before they begin class and can form a modular system to connect future classrooms.
The building has been designed to have minimal embodied and in-use energy and draws inspiration from the arid, rocky landscape of the Magadi region. A prefabricated steel frame is combined with locally sourced materials to offer a viable alternative to a customary concrete classroom design in terms of both performance and construction cost.
The selection of the gabion wall construction method and use of solar power and rainwater collection has been tailored to ensure the building is robust and low maintenance in a remote rural context. The construction process has been designed to be mastered by both local women and international volunteers coming to teach at the Memusi schools.
Read more about the prototype classroom on the Freiraum website
The project has been featured in the Architectural Review.
the climate in the magadi region of kenya is arid and rocky
the classroom has been designed to be passively cooled
client: the memusi foundation project area: 35m2
the screened verandah faces north to shade the classroom during the day