architecture studio comunal: taller de arquitectura has collaborated with students in mexico to build an educational space from locally sourced materials. motivated by the bamboo workshops taught by comunal in 2015, and the lack of classrooms in their community, students in tepetzintan — a community northeast of puebla — decided to initiate and self-build the project, with participatory design workshops beginning in 2016.

comunal taller productive rural school
all images by onnis luque



the students developed the concept of a ‘productive rural school’, which, in addition to proposing appropriate educational spaces for the region and the use of local materials, would reconsider methods of learning and teaching. the architectural program has been developed so that students can learn traditional trades that are necessary for the remote community, thus helping avoid migration and the separation of families.

comunal taller productive rural school



as a result, three classrooms were proposed as well as a vegetable garden, a medicinal garden, and a kitchen-laboratory for the production of ointments, creams, and syrups. a practical workshop also fosters education concerning bamboo and other local materials for the construction and elaboration of structures and furniture.

comunal taller productive rural school



in 2017, the project was presented by the students and comunal: taller de arquitectura to parents. a community committee was formed, while the general assembly of the community donated land for the scheme’s construction. in addition to the community’s contributions, private companies such as novaceramic, rotoplas, and ecolam were also involved. international support from the canada fund for local initiatives (FCIL), and funds obtained from campaigns carried out by comunal also contributed.

comunal taller productive rural school



construction began in july 2017 with the community having now completed the first phase of the project: one classroom and a service building. the second stage — another classroom and a kitchen/laboratory — is currently under construction. see other projects by comunal: taller de arquitectura on designboom here.

comunal taller productive rural school

comunal taller productive rural school

comunal taller productive rural school



project info:


name: productive rural school: first stage
architects: rural digital baccalaureate no. 186 + communal: architecture workshop
location: tepetzintan, sierra northeast of puebla
year: 2017-2018
status: under construction second stage
first stage area: 192 sqm
total project area: 1,530 sqm
photography: onnis luque
collaborators: micaela francisco, president of the construction committee. samuel coyota, coordinator of masonry + community tasks. iván martínez, local technical specialist in bamboo + training workshops. gaudencio francisco, local specialist in blacksmithing. pablo lópez, director of the rural digital baccalaureate no. 186 + coordination of student work. isauro manzano, specialist bamboo engineer. union of cooperatives tosepan titataniske

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