MBAKADOU PRIMARY SCHOOL

ARCHITETTI SENZA FRONTIERE ITALIA

Mbakadou primary school is an ASF-Italia project. Design team is composed by Beatrice Galimberti, Giuditta De Vecchi, Maddalena Ferraresi, Filippo Mascaretti with Francesca Albertoni. The project started in 2013 and it’s still ongoing.
Mbakadou is a Senegalese rural village of 500 people, belonging to the district of Louga, inside the predesertic saharian area.

seconda classe bambini

Mbakadou primary school. Building site of the second classroom

 

Mbakadou primary school. View of the collective space that can hosts multiple uses
Mbakadou primary school. View of the collective space that can hosts multiple uses
Mbakadou positioning
Mbakadou positioning
Systems of villages gravitating towards Mbakadou
Systems of villages gravitating towards Mbakadou
Mbakadou satellite view, the white small dot is the existent classroom
Mbakadou satellite view, the white small dot is the existent classroom
Mbakadou village
Mbakadou village
Mbakadou pupils. Photo by Giuditta De Vecchi
Mbakadou pupils. Photo by Giuditta De Vecchi

In 2009 Mbakadou’s inhabitants built their first classroom which is also frequented by children coming from other villages located tens of kilometers away. Due to the fact that there’s just one classroom, there’s no separation between class levels.

The existent classroom. Photo by Giuditta De Vecchi
The existing classroom. Photo by Giuditta De Vecchi

The existing classroom is having technical problems due to climate conditions, which induce the erosion of external walls and huge indoor overheating. Through Dimbalente Onlus, Mbakadou’s population involved ASF-Italia to solve those problems and to start a sustainable and efficient project for building five other classrooms.

Project general axonometry
Project general axonometry
Section showing how the project is hosting different kind of spaces
Section showing how the project is hosting different kind of spaces
View of the space connecting the classrooms in a cluster
View of the space connecting the classrooms in a cluster

The project provides high-quality bioclimatic performance for Mbakadou Primary School, by using appropriate strategies against desertification and erosion as planting vegetation or using exhausted tires to build wind hedges. A bioclimatic approach guarantees comfort and salubrity inside the building (by considering issues as good orientation, cross ventilation for natural cooling, solar control, and shading devices to avoid overheating).

Strategies against desertification and erosion
Strategies against desertification and erosion
Use of appropriate materials and techniques, adding value to traditional knowledge
Use of appropriate materials and techniques, adding value to traditional knowledge

Construction materials are local and sustainable, such as mud bricks for mansonry and bundles of braided typha, a local grass marsh which is still not widespread but if used for roofing can provide many benefits to indoor conditions, guaranteeing more durability than straw.

Discussing the project with the population, in a participative approach. Photo by Giuditta De Vecchi
Discussing the project with the population, following a participative approach. Photo by Giuditta De Vecchi
Discussing the project with the population, in a participative approach. Photo by Giuditta De Vecchi
Discussing the project with the population, following a participative approach. Photo by Giuditta De Vecchi
Discussing the project with the pupils, in a participative approach. Photo by Giuditta De Vecchi
Discussing the project with the pupils, following a participative approach. Photo by Giuditta De Vecchi

The construction will employ appropriate labour: it will be mainly self-construction and will employ both men and women.  Training sessions for typha mat and tires hedges will be held, aiming that local involvement will provide new economic possibilities and add value on traditional knowledge. The project imply the construction of a community-based network that can apply and share the acquired knowledge.

Construction phases. The project is conceived as open source
Construction phases. The project is conceived as open source

The project is conceived to be developed it in 3 phases, according to fundraising, the goal for first phase is building 3 new classrooms. Our purpose for next phases is to make the community more and more independent in the implementation and management of the school construction.

Mbakadou women (directly involved in our project). Photo by Giuditta De Vecchi

Mbakadou women (directly involved in our project). Photo by Giuditta De Vecchi

The Mbakadou primary school project is led by ASF-Italia together with Associazione Solidarietà Dimbalente (local counterpart), Associazione Insieme (counterpart mediator), and Fondation Sylla Tati Caap (cooperation with the counterpart).

Further information on: www.asfitalia.org