A concept for a school in Mozambique by Habibeh Madjdabadi

school in Mozambique

Sustainability in architecture is often reduced to creating buildings that are technically ecofriendly but architecturally irrelevant. This school has sustainable design solutions that are integral part of the main architectural concept. Here the harsh environmental conditions are considered as opportunities for creating unique and new architecture with respect to the local traditions.

Heavy rainfalls, floods, shortage of clean water and lack of electricity, are translated to integrated solutions that embraces the technological, tectonic and aesthetic aspects at the same time. The main feature of the project is an intelligent roof that collects rainwater and converts the solar light into electricity and allows the building to be energetically self-sufficient. The multilayer water collecting roof, is an architectural landmark that defines the aesthetic character of the school.

The roof has double function and is composed of modular basket shape structures for collecting rain water, Solar Panels and thermal collectors. The baskets are made of bamboo and internally covered with a water-resistant resin which is available in the region. The collected water is directed through the pipes located under the baskets into the water reservoir tank and finally to the septic tank.

After filtering and purification, water is pumped to the areas such as toilets, infirmary kitchen and other areas which need water. The building consists of three parts: 1- the bamboo roof with its energy and water saving performance, 2- the functional spaces at the ground floor with their masonry walls 3- the empty space in between that allows the air to flow and contain the temperature and humidity.

Roof itself consists of 1- mantle of woven bamboo in which the load forces are uniformly transferred to the columns along its catenary curves; 2- vegetal ropes that contain the negative pressure created by the effect of the winds or cyclones 3- the flexible columns in bamboo for bearing the load of the roof, the rain water and the wind pressure. The building is planned to be made by the materials and technologies (bamboo and compressed earth blocks) available in place.

All can be eventually made by the local people. The school is oriented North-South with many openings in the walls to facilitate natural ventilation and lighting. The building respects the morphology of the land and preserves the existing trees. The Tree called Marula is preserved and highlights the main entrance of the school. Source by Habibeh Madjdabadi.

  • Location: Mozambique
  • Architect: Habibeh Madjdabadi
  • Modeling & presentation Team: Niloufar Kaveh, Sarvin Golraveshfekry, Farnaz Hosseinkhani
  • Year: 2019
  • Images: Courtesy of Habibeh Madjdabadi

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