One day, a project : Complexe scolaire de Bangre Veenem byAlbert Faus

Photography by Milena Villalba

This time, here is a project which is a little closer to the actions of Architects Without Borders since we are leaving for Burkina Faso, at Koudougou, for the realisation of a school complex covering early childhood in high school. Nothing but that! This project follows on from the government’s desire to fight against school drop-out, whilst unifying the school centres which are often too geographically dispersed. The project was led 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 during the implementation phase, the choice was made to reduce the surface areas initially planned by the town council to limit the impact of the building on its territory. The area adjacent to the project was in fact made up of a lot of farmland and small housing communities. This was a responsible decision that was consistent with the NGO’s approach. Then, the programme was divided into two parts: in the south, the primary 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 grounds, catering, changing rooms, water tank). Between the two is a square that serves as access to 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 mixture of stone and steel, with these loose roofs that seem to levitate lightly above the heavy walls, is 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 bring in natural light.

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

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