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Gando Teachers' Housing

Status:

Completed

Date:

2004

Site:

Gando, Burkina Faso

Size:

440 sqm (gross floor area), 390 sqm (area of intervention)

Client:

Community of Gando / Kéré Foundation e.V.

Collaborators:

Community of Gando

Awards:

BSI Swiss Architectural Award 2010

The Gando Teachers’ Housing was conceived as a response to the challenge of attracting qualified teachers to join the staff at Gando Primary School, completed three years prior. The provision of quality housing, for both teachers and their families, aims to act as an incentive to draw skilled individuals away from cities towards more remote, rural areas of the country.

The houses are made up of a series of adaptable modules, comparable in size to the surrounding vernacular typology, which can be combined in various ways into larger composites, depending on evolving needs. The six units are arranged in a wide arc to the south of the school complex. This curvilinear layout is reminiscent of a traditional Burkinabè compound.

The project promotes the use of sustainable building materials by adapting traditional construction methods in innovative ways. Adobe walls, customarily used in the region, stand on cement and granite foundations to protect them from the rising dampness of the earth and are shielded from damaging wind-driven rains by a generous overhang of the corrugated iron roof coverings. The walls are also rendered with a protective layer of bitumen, more durable than the habitually used loam render, which is liable to damage by termites. Roofs are composed of a layer of reinforced concrete, poured in-situ directly onto a vault made of locally produced compressed earth bricks, thus avoiding the disposal of formwork. Crescent-shaped openings between walls and vaults allow for natural ventilation and indirect daylight.

A key objective of the project was to involve the surrounding community in its construction. The simplicity of the design and minimal use of purchased materials makes the model easily adoptable and adaptable by members of the community who plan on building or extending their own homes.

The Gando Teachers’ Housing was conceived as a response to the challenge of attracting qualified teachers to join the staff at Gando Primary School, completed three years prior. The provision of quality housing, for both teachers and their families, aims to act as an incentive to draw skilled individuals away from cities towards more remote, rural areas of the country.

The houses are made up of a series of adaptable modules, comparable in size to the surrounding vernacular typology, which can be combined in various ways into larger composites, depending on evolving needs. The six units are arranged in a wide arc to the south of the school complex. This curvilinear layout is reminiscent of a traditional Burkinabè compound.

The project promotes the use of sustainable building materials by adapting traditional construction methods in innovative ways. Adobe walls, customarily used in the region, stand on cement and granite foundations to protect them from the rising dampness of the earth and are shielded from damaging wind-driven rains by a generous overhang of the corrugated iron roof coverings. The walls are also rendered with a protective layer of bitumen, more durable than the habitually used loam render, which is liable to damage by termites. Roofs are composed of a layer of reinforced concrete, poured in-situ directly onto a vault made of locally produced compressed earth bricks, thus avoiding the disposal of formwork. Crescent-shaped openings between walls and vaults allow for natural ventilation and indirect daylight.

A key objective of the project was to involve the surrounding community in its construction. The simplicity of the design and minimal use of purchased materials makes the model easily adoptable and adaptable by members of the community who plan on building or extending their own homes.

Arches profiles of Gando Teachers' Housing. Photo by Erik-Jan Ouwerkerk.
Gando Teachers' Housing. Photo by Erik Janouwerkerk.
Perforated window of Gando Teachers' Housing. Photo by Erik-Jan Ouwerkerk.
Exploded axonometry of Gando Teachers' Housing.
Plan of Gando Teachers' Housing.
Gando Teachers' Housing. Photo by Erik Janouwerkerk.
Section and elevation of Gando Teachers' Housing.
Gando Teachers' Housing. Photo by Erik Janouwerkerk.