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studio FH architects has completed a multipurpose hall for a school in the southern ugandan village of mannya. the scheme forms a combined assembly and dining hall for the community’s st. bernard’s secondary school, accommodating up to 650 students. on a footprint of 680 square meters, the project features a covered external auditorium with a simple stage, a kitchen, storage areas, and an on-site office.

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the multipurpose hall is located in the southern ugandan village of mannya
all images by will boase

 

 

designed by studio FH architects, the building was funded by australia’s cotton on foundation (COF), an organization who invests in the construction of educational infrastructure — previously backing the ross langdon health education centre. a number of sustainable technologies have been utilized throughout the scheme, including concealed rainwater harvesting, solar chimneys in the kitchen to improve natural ventilation, and fuel-efficient firewood stoves.

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the structure includes a covered auditorium and a white kitchen building

 

 

the amphitheater, suitable for both intimate stage performances and communal events, is created with three curved steps that follow the contours of the site. with a depth of 2.7 meters, the steps are wide enough to accommodate dining tables and benches, meaning that the volume can function as both a dining hall and a place of assembly for meetings and announcements. tilted reinforced concrete columns are clad with a variety of locally available materials, including clay bricks, tiles, and stone slates.

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reinforced concrete columns are clad with a variety of locally available materials

 

 

a metal roof — spanning 21 meters — hovers above the amphitheater, with the curved kitchen building forming the backdrop to the stage. with its wedge-shaped planes installed at two different angles, natural daylight enters through narrow triangular strips of vertical translucent roofing sheets. this softens the sharp contrast between outdoor and indoor illumination, and creates a playful composition of sunlight. baffles made from hemp fabric have been suspended from the roof as a way of improving acoustics, and softening the industrial appearance of the metallic roof.

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a metal roof with a 21 meter span hovers above the amphitheater

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baffles made of hemp have been suspended from the roof as a way of improving acoustics

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the design accommodates up to 650 students

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the project also includes the construction of a kitchen, storage areas, and an office

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the building was funded by australia’s cotton on foundation

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three curved steps follow the gentle slope of the site

studio-fh-architects-multipurpose-hall-at-st-bernards-secondary-school-mannya-uganda-designboom-02
natural daylight enters through narrow triangular strips of vertical translucent roofing sheets

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the curved kitchen building forms the backdrop to the stage

 

 

project info:

 

architect: studio FH architects
structural engineer: MBW consulting
M&E engineer: BES consult
quantity surveyor: dudley kasibante and partners
contractor: trust builders
photography: will boase photography
location: mannya, uganda
area: 680 sqm
cost: $367,000 (excl. VAT)
project year: 2016

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