this grey brick building in rural china encourages children's hygiene habits

this grey brick building in rural china encourages children's hygiene habits

DOMAT, a hong kong-based not-for-profit architecture practice, has completed a building in china that encourages children to practice daily hygiene habits. constructed in a remote village in the country’s yunnan province, the facilities take the place of a dilapidated toilet and shower annex for a school and dormitory. the school, funded by a hong kong foundation, provides education to 200 children from seven surrounding villages.

DOMAT hygiene station
all images courtesy of DOMAT



‘the children were reluctant to use the previous facilities due to the poor condition of the buildings,’ explains DOMAT. ‘commissioned by the foundation, our challenge was to rebuild the facilities balancing low cost and durability for the rural context as well as encouraging the children to build up daily habits that can last throughout their lives.’

DOMAT hygiene station
the building has been designed to be as approachable and welcoming as possible



the architects began by designing a two-storey building, with the toilets on the ground floor, and the shower rooms above. this reduced the building’s footprint and cost, and kept the structure away from the surrounding slopes. meanwhile, the building’s tapered form and its open circulation routes were designed to encourage students to approach the facilities, with a hand-washing basin serving as the scheme’s focal point.

DOMAT hygiene station
almost all of the materials used have come from the local village



from an environmental perspective, a simple stack-effect was achieved using solar chimneys passing through the upper shower block to allow natural ventilation to the toilets below. elsewhere, in order to reduce water demand, grey-water from the showers is reused to flush toilets. importantly, the building’s materials, such as the locally sourced grey bricks, are readily available and simple for the villagers to maintain.

DOMAT hygiene station
the building’s program is split between two levels

DOMAT hygiene station
the hand-washing basin serves as the scheme’s focal point

DOMAT hygiene station
the project encourages children to practice daily hygiene habits

DOMAT hygiene station
the shower rooms are found on the upper storey

DOMAT hygiene station
open circulation routes help create a serene and calm environment

DOMAT hygiene station
the building’s tapered form keeps it away from the surrounding slopes

DOMAT hygiene station
the facility is located in a remote village in china’s yunnan province



project info:


name: hygiene station for cattlefield village school
location: cattlefield village, banka town, yongde, lincang, yunnan, china
architect: DOMAT limited
team: maggie ma, mark kingsley, tanya tsui, adeline chan, juliette song
donor: KPMG foundation
supporting donor: yongde county education bureau
date: completed in april 2017
area: 178 sqm / 1,915 sqf
site area: 308 sqm / 3,315 sqf
projected cost: RMB 606,000 (approx. $87,500 USD) — including building, site formation, site landscape, two rubbish collection points, interior furniture and solar water heating system


project manager: yongde county education bureaud
local design institute: kunming zhuozhu architecture design co. ltd.
contractor: yunnan yong xin construction company limited
list of material/product used: grey bricks (from local village), red bricks (from local village), terrazzo finishes (from local village), mosaic tiles (from yongde county), toilet fitments and ironmongery (from banka town), no proprietary product used

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