One day, one project : Bangre Veenem School Complex by Albert Faus

Photography by Milena Villalba

This time, here is a project that is a little closer to the actions of Architects Without Borders, since we are going to Burkina Faso, to Koudougou, for the realization of a school complex covering early childhood in high school. That’s all ! This project follows the government’s desire to fight against school drop-out, while unifying school centers that are often too geographically dispersed. The project was carried by the NGO Le Soleil Dans La Main and designed by the Albert Faus agency.

So, where to start…because yes, I have a lot to say about this project !
Already on the implementation, the choice was made to reduce the surfaces initially planned by the city council to limit the impact of the building on its territory. The area adjacent to the project was in fact composed of many agricultural lands and small communities of dwellings. A responsible and coherent choice in line with the NGO’s approach. Then, the program was divided into two parts: in the south, the elementary school (nursery and primary) which takes place on the pre-existing school building; in the north, the secondary school as well as the service buildings (sports fields, catering, changing rooms, water tank). Between the two is a square that serves as access for both parts of the school. As well as a tree, a large existing tree judiciously preserved by the designers.

Now, going a little more into the project, let’s talk about material and form. Because clearly, buildings are full of them. This mix of stone and steel, with these loose roofs that seem to levitate lightly above the heavy walls, it’s super nice. The architectural vocabulary is unified, even if there are variations depending on the nature of the premises : stone here, brick there. The roof, made of corrugated sheet metal, offers punctual openings to let air circulate and provide natural light.

The whole gives the impression of a convivial project, vast without being massive and oppressive. The facades blend into the landscape without ever shocking. In conclusion, this is a superb project with values that speak to me.

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