Project: Multi-use Bioclimatic Classroom for the teachers of the school in Abetenim

Organization: NKA Foundation + Bo Architecture

Architects: Santiago Merello, Antonella Sinacore and Claudia Varin

Team: Felix Auer, Ahmed Bennour, Jason Bell, Agustin Cajarville, Eleonora Grotto, Cecilia Lamptey, Fernando Sabriz, Juan Scuro, Samanta Sinistri, Lucía de Usera del Valle

Construction: February-April 2017

A multi-use classroom building for the teachers of the school realized with bioclimatic construction techniques, locally sourced natural materials, and local labour optimizing the maximum from the resources of the place. The building or structure also houses a sick bay area and provides various important community uses such as sporting match amenities (as it’s directly connected to one of the commonly used public used spaces - the main sports ground) and other events, meetings and functions. The project was the result of a worldwide design winning competition led by Uruguayan eco architecture group Bo Arquitectura.
The project was built over two months embodying experimental eco construction methods and techniques and on the job participative workshops. A project of this type benefits the community in so many ways, from fulfilling a direct need (previously teachers did not have a staff room/meeting place to organize and prepare lessons - as school teachers are the key deliverers of education, having a space that’s inspiring and conducive to their work will help them teach better, which in turn helps students learn and absorb information better). Teachers (local and visiting) are reporting longer stays at the building (after school hours) as they prepare, refine and evaluate their work.

The project also creates knowledge sharing and potential economic and job creation benefits for the local labour being hired, as it expands their skills, methods, and techniques (from the general ones they are accustomed to), with the possibility to implement this in future constructions within and outside the village. (previous examples of this have already taken place in other towns - where teams of local Abetenim villagers were sent and paid to complete similar projects themselves)

It’s an example of a project that the village currently hosts - where volunteers from different parts of the world are invited to participate and collaborate with the community, helping build anything from libraries to public latrines.