The project brief focused on local villages near Kolwezi located 200KM from Lubumbashi. The proposal demanded a future plan which incorporated well-designed classrooms, flexibility and the prospect of future growth.
3bd Architects were asked to provide full architectural services from concept through to detailed design, site inspections and a sustainable future vision for local communities.
L’ecole Puzzle is a vision for the next 15 years. A place not only for learning, but learning, growing and playing. As part of a permaculture strategy combining schools for up to 300 children, the vision displays the possibility for vast vegetation areas, growing spaces and a market in order to support the operation of the school.
primary school (150 students with 1 teacher per 50 children, teachers offices, first aid room and stores and toilets for students and staff)
Primary / secondary school (150 students to include teachers offices, IT room/server, library, school hall, stores and toilets for students and staff)
Additional facilities (library, clinic, offices, meeting rooms, community hall and cafeteria) - Please refer to Feasibility Study Document
Concept + Forumla
Each modular puzzle pod consists of a simple but effective design to ensure a comfortable learning environment while displaying local craftsmanship, using earth bricks, weaved / timber shutters and sitting roof areas for ventilation.
Materials - Concrete, local brick, grey glass and colour (shutters)
Planting - adds value to the facility. Internal and external planting can make a positive impact by reducing pollution, noise levels and energy usage. Plants also increases productivity whilst acting as rainwater buffers.
Solar shading - reduces the amount of energy required for heating or cooling by keeping the excessive heat of the sun out and avoiding overheating. In addition, it also cuts the amount of energy required for lighting, by optimizing the admittance of more free, natural daylight.
Construction + Environmental
The construction is made up of 5 simple elements which emphasises local craftsmanship with local clay bricks, colourfully weaved window shutters and permeations for light.
The design promotes a conscious and inclusive approach to the environment, this approach firstly considers the comfort inside and out the building with regards to ventilation, shading and rainfall. Secondly, the strategy considers the longterm wellbeing of the students and local community, allowing for expanded growth of food produce and vegetation which can be used in a local market area.
The extension and future modification of the schools are also a unique feature of the design, allowing areas to be sheltered and garden areas to be fenced as the area continue to grow.