Primary school in Ulyankulu, Tanzania
WAYAiR Foundation (www.wayair.pl/en/) was created by a group of passionate educators that for last 25 years were developing a unique school program in Poznan, Poland. “Łejery” started as a small theatre group for children and evolved to become a school that proves it’s democratic and art based educational programs year by year. WAYAiR got created to share the knowledge and experience of “Łejery” with others. It's time for the first ground up project of the Foundation outside of Poland – in a town of Burundi refugees form 1970’ migration - Ulyankulu, Tanzania.
Ulyankulu is a young, small town in Tanzania. Its a result of migrations of thousands of Burundi refugees in 1970’. Project is based on in depth onsite research efforts by both educators, migration experts, ethnographers and finally architects. All phases of the project were conducted in a cooperation with local community, organisations, leaders and schools.
The fundamental idea of the Ulyankulu School is to create not only a building for education, but a space that can accommodate and stimulate social activities. This is why we call this proposal an educational village.
The heart of the WAYAiR educational model is teaching through theatre. Therefore, in the heart of the school a theatre classroom is designed with the audience placed inside of a central courtyard shaded with the canopy of beautiful mango trees. All classrooms are additionally wrapped within a playful, ornamental, perforated clay-brick wall creating many smaller patios, each designed to suite different outdoor activity and
stimulate kids and other Ulyankulu inhabitants to socialize, play and spend time together.
We believe in a value of traditional knowledge, heritage and local identity complemented by environmental awareness and professional architectural expertise. Therefore our proposal uses materials, details and craftsmanship from Ulyankulu and creates sustainable and socially inclusive architecture.
Classroom structure, shape and especially its double roof structure is designed in order to create efficient passive cooling and prevent overheating of the interior. All of the roofs are able to collect rain water, which will be stored underground and supply all students with necessary water during annual draughts.
_Nowadays children in Ulyankulu attend schools that are easily overheating, set in a surrounding that does not offer generous outdoor shadow and greenery nor any additional outdoor infrastructure for kids to play, spend after school hours.
_Proposed class module is designed for generous ventilation, efficient
construction, use of locally produced bricks and employment of local
craftsmen. Proposed roof structure prevents overheating of the classroom by
allowing air to flow between the primary roof and the class ceiling.
_Proposed typology is doubly beneficial if located near greenery. Classrooms geometry allows the hot air to easily escape in the direction away from the tree, thus sucking the cold air from underneath the plant inside the classroom, cooling it down. Additionally it is build on top of a thick foundation which thermal mass accumulates colder temperatures during the night and helps to cool the classroom down during the day.
_Available plot proposed by the Ulyankulu Church is a generous piece of land today partially used for seasonal agriculture. A part of the plot with three grand mango trees was chosen as a place most suitable for the placement of the school.
_In order to grant the highest efficiency of the passive cooling of each class and create an inner central courtyard beneath the canopy of the mango trees classrooms were located along the tree parameter.
_Using the cheapest, locally available material – the clay brick, all classrooms were wrapped around with a wall, creating clear school boundaries, central open courtyard and many small more introvert courtyards between neighboring classrooms.
_Each classroom courtyard is given a unique identity and color. The serpentine wall is perforated in multiple places and equipped with equipment like nets, swings and slides becoming a continuous, playground. Multiplicity and shapes of the openings inspired by local building techniques give school a playful and ornamental character anchoring it within local esthetic and culture.
_School has an official entrance but kids are invited to penetrate its walls as they please. Additionally many perforations will be used as goals, basket nets and other playtime elements. We hope many will be given a function by kids themselves and that the abstract quality of the facade will stimulate creativeness and simply be fun.