terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda

terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda

terrain architects COMPLETES TERAKOYA SCHOOL EXPANSION

 

a human scale and a sense of openness are two of the key features of terakoya primary school in nansana, uganda, designed by terrain architects. located on a gently sloping site on the outskirts of the ugandan capital, the educational building was commissioned by ashinaga uganda, an NGO that supports students who have lost one or both parents. 

 

the brief was to expand terakoya school with new classrooms that can accommodate a range of ages, academic levels and family backgrounds. not just traditional classrooms, the expansion also has to support different activities such as dance and music, vocational training and counseling for caregivers. it was these diverse needs that informed the project. the architects explain, ‘instead of designing for everything that could be expected, we sought to create a space that would encourage open and spontaneous use, moments such as “let’s have a class under the shade of a tree today”.’

terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
images by timothy latim

 

 

A CLUSTER OF COMPLEMENTARY UNITS

 

the low-lying form of the school takes cues from the surrounding houses, which are mostly one or two storeys tall. terrain architects arranged 23 square-shaped units on the 1,570 sqm plot. described by the architects as ‘incomplete’, the units work together to complement each other, to absorb the difference in gradient and to create spaces that sometimes connect and sometimes separate. 

 

each unit is composed of a 5m x 5m structure built from eucalyptus log columns. some units—for example the five classrooms—are closed off with brick walls. others are left open on all sides to create covered terraces. there’s also an open stage in the center of the scheme, which the classrooms can open out onto thanks to operable wall panels. 

 

the modules are all topped with double pitched roofs that are angled to bring natural light inside the rooms and to allow rainwater to drain off into gutters, which is then collected and stored in the basement. a pump has been installed to provide domestic water to local residents.

terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
classrooms can open out onto a central stage

 

 

a stepped landsape of zigzag paths permeate around the school. the steps absorb the 450mm level difference while the diagonal patterns are designed to forge connections between the 23 units. the architects also intentionally recessed the eucalyptus log columns from the edge of the roofs to invite flow into the rooms.

 

the zigzag landscape is also shaped to connect with the surrounding context by reaching out diagonally across the street. it eventually leads to the external fence, and creates a small space between the fence and the public road. the last hut straddles the external fence and provides a shaded space for the neighbors under its eaves. 

 

terrain architects says about the project, ‘in a region where many school construction projects are carried out on a temporary basis, this NGO has been steadily building relationships with the community through home visits. the small units, supported by slightly bent logs, have begun to come together to create a new place. we hope that it will grow to facilitate and symbolise the interdependent relationship between the community and the project.’

terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
the structure is built from eucalyptus timber

terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
the classrooms are enclosed with brick walls

terrain-architects-terakoya-primary-school-uganda-designboom-19X

terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
the school occupies a gently sloping site

terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
the school’s human scale takes cues from the surrounding houses

terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
the zigzag landscape in progress

terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
the school is composed of 23 square units

 

 

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terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
 
terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
 
terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
 
terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
 
terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
 
terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
 
terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
 
terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
 
terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
 
terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
 
terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
 
terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
 
terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
 
terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
 
terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
 
terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
 
terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
 
terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
 
terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
 
terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
 
terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
 
terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
 
terrain architects erects a cluster of timber units for terakoya school in uganda
 

project info:

 

name: terakoya

use: primary school

location: nansana, uganda

client: ashinaga uganda

architecture: ikko kobayashi + fumi kashimura / terrain architects

local architects: plantek consultant

contractor: geses uganda limited

structure design: yoshinori suzuki, hinako igarashi/TECTONICA. inc

floor area: 269 sqm
year: 2020
photography: timothy latim

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ARCHITECTURE IN UGANDA (11)

SCHOOL ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN (585)

TERRAIN ARCHITECTS (2)

WOOD AND TIMBER ARCHITECTURE (364)

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