Conceptual Straw Bale School in Malawi
If ever there was an example of an architectural practice meeting a design brief to makes use of local materials and construction systems, showcase true sustainability and create a solution that could be added to over time, then the Indian architect firm Nudes, is a fine example. Led by architect Nuru Karim, Nudes responded to an architectural competition, ran by Archstorming on behalf of NGO, Active Africa. The project - a design proposal for a secondary school located in south-east Africa Malawi; 60 kilometres south of Nkhotakota Township and 50 kilometres north of Salem Township.
The proposed design features a modular wooden framework build, comprising a series of ladder style wooden A frames and curved walls made from bales of straw, that houses the pedagogical intent of the school. The ladder component has been arranged to explore the inside-outside relations of learning environments. The vertical and horizontal linear frames are made up of different heights and widths, which allows the structures to fan out and creates space for classroom environments, computer rooms, laboratories, admin space, living, dining and washing areas; as well as outdoor learning environments - amphitheatres, outdoor workshops spaces and open air recreational activities. Using a linear structure, the idea is that there is capacity for a growth expansion strategy over time.
Local material infill - straw bale cubes have been suggested, as well voids for light and ventilation - creating a breathable skin and facilitating ease of repairs sustainability and maintenance by locals and students.
The design proposal was awarded the World Architecture Community Award Cycle 31, in July this year. For all those interested in sustainable living, this is an architect practice to watch - a truly inspiring portfolio of projects that embrace the very essence of social, cultural and environmental sustainability. Authentic living at its best.
All images Nude. www.nudeoffices.com