alberto figueroa develops prototypical classroom for a high school campus in ghana

alberto figueroa develops prototypical classroom for a high school campus in ghana

using local materials and construction techniques, spanish architect alberto figueroa has developed a prototypical classroom that forms part of a high school campus in ghana’s ashanti region. in addition to engaging local workers, the project also benefited from international volunteers — both architecture students and graduates — who were able to experience sustainable construction systems, such as rammed earth, firsthand.

alberto figueroa ghana school
all images courtesy of alberto figueroa



the project, which has been documented in full on alberto figueroa’s website, is the result of an international competition organized by the non-profit NKA foundation. the building’s planned configuration was redesigned on site in accordance with its context. its orientation and geometry minimize exposure to direct sunlight, while maximizing indirect sunlight and eliminating the need for artificial lighting. overhead, the roof not only collects rainwater to be used for future washrooms, but also ensures a good acoustic environment.

alberto figueroa ghana school
the color and geometry of the façade references the manually woven fabric native to the region



internally, the scheme comprises a classroom as well as a lobby space that provides storage, and a study/reading space for students. meanwhile, the color and geometry of the façade references kente — a manually woven fabric native to the akan ethnic group of south ghana. the building was constructed using two different techniques: rammed earth for the building’s base, and, above, a wooden structure that allows for cross ventilation, indirect sunlight, and a visual connection with the surroundings.

alberto figueroa ghana school
openings ensure external views of the surroundings

alberto figueroa ghana school
the design maximizes indirect sunlight, eliminating the need for artificial lighting

alberto figueroa ghana school
the roof has been shaped to ensure a good acoustic environment

alberto figueroa ghana school
the overhead canopy also collects rainwater to be used for future washrooms

alberto figueroa ghana school
the school campus is located in ghana’s ashanti region



project info:


location: abetenim, ghana
NGO: NKA foundation
built area: 113 sqm / 1,216 sqf
budget: $5,000 USD / 23,000 ghana cedis
year: 2017


volunteers: francesca de lorenzi, miguel lana, maria luisa caamaño, jaufret barrot, eduardo mora, laura benito, elena álvarez, elio martinez, laura cabeza, elena vecino, clara ordovas, nieves martín, marisa ruiz, luis plana, eduardo martin, javier temprano, cayetana molla y damien pinto
local workers: edward ampomah, joseph chris, and joseph owusu

  • Thank you guys for the article!

    Alberto Figueroa says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
502,536 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample