article 25 – the humanitarian architecture charity – has shared construction images from one of their latest projects in niamey, niger. following their guiding philosophy to help deliver housing, schools and hospitals for communities who need it most, the UK-based charity has been working with collège hampaté bâ to design new classrooms and admin facilities, which will enable the college to accommodate up to 1,200 children from primary school age right through to lycée.

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laterite being quarried 10km outside niamey

image © toby pear

 

 

the design by article 25 prioritizes the use of local materials, adapting vernacular techniques to respond to the challenging climatic conditions, and creating beautiful, comfortable spaces conducive to learning. the classrooms have a double roof design, with vaulted earth brick ceilings below a flying metal roof. this helps mitigate the extreme heat as air is pulled through the void between the 2 roofs and sunlight is not allowed to radiate into the rooms.

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a laterite block is shaped by a mason at site

image © grant smith

 

 

the principle building material is laterite stone; a cheap, locally available material with low embodied carbon, which represents an underutilized resource in niger. it is dug from the ground by hand in a quarry 10km outside niamey, and hardens on contact with air to become suitable for building. during construction, local masons are being trained in how to use laterite, with the hope that the skills can be disseminated in further projects around the region.

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the mason team laying laterite blocks

image © grant smith

 

 

the proposals for the college include refurbishment of existing classrooms and the addition of five new classroom blocks (totalling 20 classrooms), along with new administrative facilities, an assembly hall, library and latrine blocks. upgrades to water and electrical services are also proposed in order to improve the school’s resilience to intermittent municipal supply. phase 2 of construction is due to complete in july 2020, with phase 3 works scheduled to finish in the autumn of 2021.

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the guard’s house under construction

image © grant smith

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the classroom blocks have ceilings made of earth brick vaulting

image © nicolas réméné

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the laterite walls display a rich orange-red color

image © nicolas réméné

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a flying metal roof with void below helps to mitigate the extreme temperatures

image © nicolas réméné

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one of the classroom blocks nearing completion

image © nicolas réméné

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inside one the classroom spaces

image © nicolas réméné

 

video courtesy of article 25

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a typical proposed classroom

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the proposed admin building adjacent to the existing school buildings

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perspective section through the proposed library

 

 

project info:

 

project name: collège hampaté bâ, niamey

project type: school refurbishment and expansion

client: collège amadou hampaté bâ

charity/design:  article 25

project partners: michael hadi associates (structural), max fordham (m&e)

funded by: collège hampaté bâ, niamey

status: in construction

 

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: lynne myers | designboom