SCHOOL, KALIVIO GUGORO, GH - PRO BONO
Kalivio Gugoro community is found in the Kasena West District in the Upper East region of Ghana and is located in the northern part of the country. The community has a voter population of about 700 and the overall population of between 1,800 -2,000 people. The community has no educational facility and therefore children have to walk several kilometres to schools in the sister communities. Kalivio Gugoro is surrounded by rocks and streams of water which makes it difficult for children to commute to school during the rainy season. It’s especially dangerous for children aged 5 to 10. During the dry seasons, children have to walk through the rocks and the excruciating heat, arriving at school exhausted. This has a negative impact on their learning. These challenges bring about absenteeism and children dropping out which affects the community. (Pastor Gaase James Kwaku – Headteacher)
Bee Architects was planning for some time to volunteer to build humanitarian architecture in developing countries; when Impact NextGen made an appeal, we all joined forces to design this project for the Kalivio Gugoro community, Chiana, Kassena West District in the Upper East Region of Ghana.
The source of inspiration for this project was the contemporary architecture approach in contemporary Africa combined with sustainable details, inspired by nature, as well as architects such as Diebedo Francis Kere, Mick Pearce, Article 25, Orkidstudio to name but a few.
The project prioritizes the use of local materials, affordable building techniques and modularity. Six double-roomed pavilions built from laterite bricks are distributed around an atrium assembled as a square. Large and open corridors edge the internal courtyard in form of a perfect square, which acts as a gathering place. It also accommodates a wooden pavilion where the school can host activities or other events for the students, as well as the other members of the community. The same type of pavilion will be built outside, near the kitchen area which will allow pupils, teachers or members of the local community to have a meal during school hours. It can further be used for outdoor activities or events, as three of its walls are surrounded by a garden.
The modules that form these pavilions have simple shapes; upside-down pyramids suspended on top of a wooden trunk with two main purposes: to collect the rainwater and reduce the roof’s excessive heating by folding its plane. Having tall roofs will allow a free airflow that helps the natural ventilation through a chimney stack effect and thus cooling the area.
Sustainability, circular design, eco-friendliness and affordability are principles that stood at the basis of this project and guided us from the very beginning. The impact of the design on people and the community was also paramount. Hence, the raw materials and simple elements were used to achieve an interesting shape and structure, easy to assemble, meant to stimulate the locals' creativity, giving them the opportunity to build with their own hands. We hope this can strengthen their community spirit and bring them closer together.