madrid-based architecture studio 2bold has collaborated with NGO team4ghana, in order to build a public primary school within northern ghana. dubbed ‘school of joy’, the project seeks to provide an accessible, appealing learning environment to the children of this rural area, which is otherwise secluded from education facilities. 

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all images courtesy of 2bold



‘in an area where basic needs are not easily covered yet, it’s always a challenge to focus on the importance of education and its projection towards a better future’ 2bold shares. one of the main aims was to stretch the local concept of a school and make it more appealing, regarding the community’s context and needs. settled in a deep rural area, kids had to walk several miles under the sun in order to get to the closest school. this fact, along with the need for help at home, led to most of them dropping their studies at a very young age. the new ‘school of joy’ seeks to give an end to this issue. 

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after spending some months researching the resources, climate, and culture of the region, the architects came up with the creative proposal. the building adds some features to the conventional school typology, in order to generate a warm, inviting environment that can help improve the children’s wellbeing. local residents, including women, were hired as part of the construction team that brought the school up.

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composed by two blocks of classrooms and surrounded by a built, permeable fence, the project encloses an inner environment meant to inspire the young pupils. as a result, a wrapping atmosphere is created, where the kids can focus, play, and dream of their future, decontextualized from their everyday routines. within its walls, the building includes two green areas; one serving as a relaxation and reading spot, and another where students can grow vegetables. the building is completed with a roofed patio where the children can play in both rainy and sunny weather. traditional architectural features, such as rammed ceramics flooring, a plaid straw ceiling, and geometric paintings, create a bond between the building the local culture. 

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project info:


name: school of joy / public primary school
architecture office: 2bold
architects: pablo santos herrán, aída g. pinillos, alejandra garcía palomino
location: luisa, builsa, northern ghana



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom