architecture brio + billionBricks build elevated school in malaysia for marginalized children
 

architecture brio + billionBricks build elevated school in malaysia for marginalized children

non-profit organization billionBricks and architecture brio have completed a school in sabah, a malaysian state occupying the northern part of the island of borneo. the area is known for its plantations which contribute heavily to the local economy and attract migrant laborers. the workers come to sabah to seek an income on the plantations, but many have become marginalized as a result of their legal status. consequently, the region is home to many thousands of stateless young people — mainly children of illegal or legal indonesian migrant laborers.

billionbricks etania green school
all images by fernando gomulya | video by kiran babu

 

 

developed in collaboration with harvard business school, etania schools are learning centers for marginalized and stateless children who have little or no access to education. the schools, which offer safety and security, run a full learning program six days a week with all necessary curriculum subjects. billionBricks and architecture brio were asked to draw up plans for a prototypical design that would be the first of 30 schools planned for the state.

billionbricks etania green school
the school is located in sabah, a malaysian state occupying the northern part of the island of borneo

 

 

designed for 350 children aged 5-13, the school is located along a river with a history of flooding approximately once every decade. as the destruction of the original rainforest has increased the flood risk even further, the school is raised above the ground in an unconventional way. five decommissioned shipping containers, and an artificially created mound from soil excavated for a water harvesting pond, support the classrooms — a gesture that creates a covered gathering space. meanwhile, the containers themselves are used for storage and washroom facilities.

billionbricks etania green school
the school is elevated on five decommissioned shipping containers

 

 

conceived as a ‘place for exploration and overcoming challenges’, children can move around the school in a variety of ways. the upper level is reached by a centrally located staircase, two ladders, or from the slopes of the mound. on the first floor, three blocks are placed alternately on either side of a central verandah. two blocks contain four classrooms, while the third block on the mound contains a teacher’s room and a library.

billionbricks etania green school
the prototypical design is the first of 30 schools planned for the state

 

 

all classrooms face the river and enjoy a natural draft of air that flows in the north-south direction. between two classrooms, children can use two smaller areas for group work. since multiple year groups are often combined, these extra spaces give teachers the flexibility to teach larger classes. one of these spaces is a reading room with a netted floor where children can find a comfortable place to read.

 

billionBricks is a non profit with a vision to end homelessness. find out how you can support the mission on the NGO’s official website here.

billionbricks etania green school
the school is designed for 350 children aged 5-13

billionbricks etania green school
the upper level is reached by a centrally located staircase

billionbricks etania green school
rooms orient along the east-west axis to minimize heat gain

billionbricks etania green school
the schools, which offer safety and security, run a full learning program six days a week

billionbricks etania green school
the school is located along a river with a history of flooding

billionbricks etania green school
the area is known for its plantations which contribute heavily to the local economy

 

 

project info:

 

name: etania green school
location: beaufort, sabah, malaysia
design team: architecture BRIO + billionBricks
client: etania schools
size: 680 sqm / 7,319 sqf
program: primary school for stateless children
photography: fernando gomulya
video: kiran babu

    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
    LOG IN
    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.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    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
    490,447 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample