estudio cavernas and orbe architecture have constructed a new educational building for the min tu won school, a community-led organization that provides education for a local community of burmese and karen refugees and migrants. the architecture and construction non-profit organization based in the thai-burma border designed the new structure according to its philosophy of using low-tech constructive systems that can be built by all workers and adapted to available materials and skills.

estudio cavernas builds school for refugees and migrants using rammed earth and bamboo
all photos courtesy of estudio cavernas and orbe architecture 

 

 

estudio cavernas  and orbe architecture collaborated with the International Design and Architecture (INDA) program to involve the beneficiaries of the project in the design and construction process. through a course taught at the chulalongkorn university in bangkok, twenty students worked to refine and document the project and participated in the building construction on site. the building stands near the thai-burma border as a monolithic structure nestled amidst the fields surrounding it. two large, rammed earth, interior volumes wrapped in bamboo skin integrate adaptable, multi-functional spaces for teaching, studying and interactive learning.

estudio cavernas builds school for refugees and migrants using rammed earth and bamboo
the center is visible from afar, an enticing destination for the long distance that many students travel to come to school

 

 

the bamboo skin acts as an environmental mediator, screening the interior walls from direct sunlight and rain while welcoming fresh air and breeze to pass through. illuminated with soft, natural light through skylights, the interior spaces form a world of passages and openings for students to explore. the large classroom volumes feature blackboards, built-in wall benches and storage spaces. natural, locally-sourced materials are used throughout the building to blend the structure within its surroundings.

estudio cavernas builds school for refugees and migrants using rammed earth and bamboo
the building is designed with playful, massive shapes assembled together for children to engage with and explore

 

estudio cavernas builds school for refugees and migrants using rammed earth and bamboo
a delicate, veiled bamboo skin wraps the interior spaces, creating a world of passageways and spaces 

 

estudio cavernas builds school for refugees and migrants using rammed earth and bamboo
sunlight is filtered through, adding depth and volume to the building

 

estudio cavernas builds school for refugees and migrants using rammed earth and bamboo
an open floor plan allows for flexibility in the arrangement of the learning areas

 

estudio cavernas builds school for refugees and migrants using rammed earth and bamboo
the classroom spaces feature blackboards, built-in wall benches and storage space

 

estudio cavernas builds school for refugees and migrants using rammed earth and bamboo
two large interior volumes form an open floor area for teaching, studying and interactive learning

 

estudio cavernas builds school for refugees and migrants using rammed earth and bamboo
night view of the structure

 

estudio cavernas builds school for refugees and migrants using rammed earth and bamboo
the center is a multi-functional educational space for the min tu won school

 

estudio cavernas builds school for refugees and migrants using rammed earth and bamboo
 the design of the building uses low-tech constructive systems that can be built by workers of all levels of skills

 

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: sofia lekka angelopoulou | designboom

  • Beautiful building. Do you think this building could be built inside Karen State?
    And could you build one in the style of a house…for guest teachers to stay?
    I have just returned and have a few projects in my head. I’m not a business-just go over and back each year for a month to teach. I am so saddened by the lack of support and services inside Karen State and want to discover cheap, traditional and new ways of building schools for the kids. Then I will go about finding many Karen in third countries and ask them to go back and share their skills.

    Leanne Rogers says:

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