We worked with Engenuiti, Integration and Building Trust International to produce an innovative design which pushes the boundaries of what can be built sustainably and cost-effectively in rural Cambodia.
The cross section and orientation of the school building responds to the local environmental requirements, with the distinctive roof form incorporating overhanging verandas providing solar shading to the classroom walls and a shaded area for smaller informal classes. The zinc roof incorporates a ‘top hat’ to the roof ridge, which combined with lower level wall openings, promotes the circulation of air within the classrooms and lets in light. The library opens onto an external covered area offering another flexible space.
Locally available materials have been used throughout, and the setting-out of the building has a direct relationship to the distinctive red clay brick module of the region, with its four one inch holes in the centre maximising cross ventilation.
Founder partner Chris Williamson says: "The choice of bright green was an inspired decision by managing partner Phil Breese, who was on site during the completion of the school. Often architects - including us - shy away from colour but here the children enjoy the contrasting colours and also the relationship with the predominant colour of the surrounding rice fields, which is the main source of income for most of the families."