in a mountainous region of vietnam, 1+1>2 architects has realized a school for the community with the help of parents, the government and charitable donations. the modest construction utilized local labor and materials, including thatched roofs, stone and earth bricks that were produced on site.
all images © son vu
the project provides a new building to replace the original dao school, which was badly damaged and close to collapse. the school caters for 78 students, from 06 to 11 years old (grade 1 to 5 respectively), all of whom are ethnic minorities from the tay, nung, dao and mong tribe. creating a multi-cultural space was therefore key in 1+1>2 architects‘ design.
the new building comprises two classrooms under one large thatched roof. designed with issues of climate, environment, and local identity in mind, the walls are made using a brick system that makes use of daylight and captures the wind to cool the spaces down in summer. more than 3000 bricks with a wall thickness of 15 cm provide thermal mass. new technology has also been applied to develop local materials. the soil – which originates from the minh bao commune, yen binh district, and yen bai province – mixes hydraulic pressurized admixtures into unburnt bricks, making it largely CO2-neutral and environmentally friendly.
pivot openable windows with ventilation bricks ensure natural wind and light. the building keeps cool in summer and in winter all the windows and ventilation bricks can be closed to keep it warm. a thatched roof, which is typical in the traditional architecture of the lao cai area, has been employed in this project. over 4000 dried leaves were easily collected from the surrounding mountains by the local community to build a large roof system with a bamboo frame to cover the 2 classrooms.
the open space between the two classrooms is used as a school yard to ensure that students from different ethnic groups can interact and exchange cultures. the project was carried out by the vietnam sustainability social enterprise (vsse), coordinated, designed and constructed by 1 + 1> 2 architects. transsolar advised on daylight supply and the climate concept.
project name: dao school
location: dao village, xuan hoa commune, bao yen district, lao cai province, vietnam
architect: 1+1>2 architects
design team: hoang thuc hao, son vu
project implementer: VSSE (vietnam sustainability social enterprise)
sponsors/ funding: sao bien room for education, oriflame, mr. nguyen hai & ms. chau hien, ms. lan anh thai
construction work: local workers
engineer: nguyen gia phong
site area: 538 ft2 (50 m2)
photography: son vu
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: lynne myers | designboom