CAUKIN studio teams with the ranwas village community in the design and build of an expressive timber school and library. sited among the jungle landscape of the south pacific island of vanuatu, the project is conceived in response to cyclone pam, which in 2015 caused devastation to the previous school buildings. after only eight weeks of construction, the finished building combines a durable, cyclone resistant timber frame, woven bamboo cladding, poly-carbonate, and metal roofing sheet. this material palette ensures a strong, bright, and well ventilated learning environment.
all images by katie edwards
CAUKIN studio‘s ranwas school was completed following the disastrous 2015 cyclone, which had left children to be taught in unsuitable temporary shelters. in the wake of the natural disaster, the tanbok project identified a need both for new classrooms and a library space that could withstand the harsh local climate. the project was built in only eight weeks, with a team of fifteen international participants from architecture schools and practices, working alongside over fifty local workers. much of the detailing happened concurrently with the project construction, with all participants living within ranwas village and gaining experience and knowledge through cultural immersion.
to withstand the extreme humidity of the island, CAUKIN studio designs the ranwas school library with carefully considered passive strategies. books are stored in an enclosed space that uses dark metal roofing sheets to increase the air temperature, reducing the relative humidity and maintaining a drier atmosphere for the books. stack ventilation allows for a continuous flow of air that draws the moisture out of the building whilst being heated by the sun on the black roofing sheets. the shelving design in this space, creates regular spacers between books ensuring that air can pass over a larger surface area of the books, wicking moisture away in the process.
project title: ranwas school
architecture: CAUKIN studio
location: ranwas village, south pentecost, vanuatu
lead architects: harrison marshall, david mahon
design team: harrison marshall, david mahon, joshua peasley, harry thorpe
environmental design consultants: vicki stevenson, eshrar latif and julie gwilliam
photography: katie edwards