blackboard wall runs the length of MUDI's tsast altai school in mongolia

blackboard wall runs the length of MUDI's tsast altai school in mongolia


about 34,000 children in mongolia live in dormitory or boarding accommodations. the country is often affected by extreme, inclement weather and 40% of the population is considered nomadic, making it nearly impossible for students to stay with their families while studying. to address the issue of housing and educating the vast numbers of adolescents, building trust international held the ‘cool school’ competition. the brief calls for an updated building to accompany an existing school in the khovd community. 

blackboard wall runs the length of MUDI's tsast altai school in mongolia
all images courtesy of MUDI 

 

 

the ‘tsast altai’ school by MUDI was given an honorable mention out of the 184 received entries. the conceptual structure is rooted in local culture and shaped by the climate, as well as for maximum efficiency of space and energy. known as the ‘land of the eternal blue sky’, mongolia’s most abundant resource is sunlight. on average, the country averages 257 cloudless days a year, a fact that was factored heavily in the design. the facility is placed in a location that minimizes the amount of overlap of shadows cast by nearby buildings, and its shape was chosen to for optimal orientation to the khovd sun path. 

MUDI tsast altai school mongolia designboom
classroom 

 

 

 

material selection focuses on low-cost locally-sourced products including: adobe brick, and polycarbonate glazing with integrated photo voltaic capabilities. the structure is nestled into a berm to further shelter from conditions, with displaced soil reused for earth-bag insulation and to pot plants in a in-house growing space. running along the entirety of the school is a trombe wall that doubles as a blackboard. sunlight hits the educational tool, providing both passive and active solar heating. in addition, MUDI incorporated thermal shutters to prevent night time heat loss, a low-energy subterranean heating and cooling system, and a warming mesh beneath the roof that melts snow for use in showers, sinks, and toilets.

blackboard wall runs the length of MUDI's tsast altai school in mongolia
indoor recreation space 

 

 

 

most important, is how all these systems come together to form a hospitable residence for students. tables used in the classroom by day feature integrated mattresses on their underside. able to seat three students during class, at night they can simply be turned upside down and stacked to create bunk beds. asides ridding the need of additional storage, the design results in an extremely versatile floor plan with no wasted area. the room can transform into a lecture hall, gym, cafeteria, or dorm in the course of several minutes

blackboard wall runs the length of MUDI's tsast altai school in mongolia
night time dorm

 

 

 

for sleeping, the beds are placed close to the heat-radiating blackboard for a snug, comfortable setting. and of course, being a chalkboard, the wall seconds as a endless canvas for those unable to drift off. MUDI hopes that the board will give children the opportunity to write notes or draw pictures that can then be photographed and sent to parents, bringing them close despite physical distance. 

MUDI tsast altai school mongolia designboom
blackboard canvas

blackboard wall runs the length of MUDI's tsast altai school in mongolia
part of MUDI’s plan to maintain child, parent relationships

MUDI tsast altai school mongolia designboom
site in surroundings 

blackboard wall runs the length of MUDI's tsast altai school in mongolia
sustainable strategies 

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plan

MUDI tsast altai school mongolia designboom
section

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wall construction detail

 

 

project info:

 

firm: MUDI
location: khovd, mongolia
project lead: yuval zohar
team: livio ercoli, guo xiaojuan, victor vieaux, mei zhang
total area: 500m2

 

 

designboom has received this project through its ‘DIY submissions’ feature, which welcomes readers to submit their own work for publication. see more designboom readers submissions here.

 

edited by: nick brink | designboom

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