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Built Kenya classroom in five weeks

Built Kenya classroom in five weeks

Master students have built classrooms for underprivileged children in a Kenyan village. "The result is beyond all expectations," said the association behind the school.

AHO was contacted by the Eco Moyo Education Center, which has started a primary school in Kilifi, Kenya. A village where unemployment is high and there is widespread poverty. They lacked classrooms and wondered if AHO students were interested in building them. AHO’s Scarcity and Creativity Studio instantly said yes.

The studio spent 5 weeks building two classrooms for 20 students each, with adjoining pergolas which shade outdoor teaching areas. Materials used were coral stone blocks rendered with 1:12 parts cement and local earth. To the back of each classroom the ‘light wall’, which is built of planed softwood, allows for ventilation and the controlled penetration of natural light. The roof trusses are built with softwood and covered with corrugated metal sheets. The roofs drain all rain water into two large water tanks to the back. A fabric ceiling hung under the trusses will stop radiation from the metal roof sheets from reaching the occupants.

Teachers Christian Hermansen and Solveig Sandness said it was a challenging and ambitious project, with a lot to be done in a short time. 

"The students went 'all in', with hard work from 5.30am, in 35 degrees. Nobody complained! We are so proud and impressed with what they have achieved.”

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Lindsay Sanner from the Eco Moyo Association said the result was beyond all expectations.

"We wanted the buildings to have a natural feel, but at the same time be filled with colours as we build a learning place for children. When we received the design proposal from AHO, everything fell into place. We wanted classrooms to have an 'inside-out feeling' to stimulate outdoor teaching. We got big bright rooms with good acoustics and a view to the forest behind."

The association has decided that the rest of the school will be built in the same style as the classrooms designed by AHO. The school has now opened for students from Mombasa, and by the end of June classes will be filled with more local children.

Photos: Lindsay Sanner & SCS studio

Team:
Mina-Matilde Håøya, Kevin Benny Kuriakose, Seppe Claes, Lena-Marí Nordli, Laura Brasé, Miquel Benedito Ribelles, Katherine Bylett, Bao Trung Mai, Jingyi “Birdy” Xu, Maria Lagging, Bianca Suárez Steckelmacher

Scarcity and Creativity Studio:
Christian Hermansen, Solveig Sandness, Joseph Henry Kennedy Jr, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski