Schooled in shifts
Until recently, the school in Khyaung Village, 40km north east of Phnom Penh City, catered for 359 pupils aged 3-17 in just two old buildings. The lack of accommodation meant that children travelling from six surrounding villages to this, the area’s only secondary school, had to attend in shifts, part-time.
A stimulating environment for work + play
We worked with Engenuiti, Integration and Building Trust International to design a building which was flexible and adaptable to meet current and future needs. It comprises three additional classrooms, a library and a covered external classroom with a sunken play area which doubles as an amphitheatre.
From February to April 2017, a team of designers for our London studio assisted the local farming community with the construction on a two week rotation. The team was also there to maintain design quality and to ensure that the highest possible site safety and welfare principles were adhered to. Building Trust held workshops on sustainable building techniques for the local workforce and volunteers.
The classrooms open onto the central school yard area, whilst cross ventilation is maximised by the use of high level openings and air bricks on opposite walls.
The cross section and orientation of the school building responds to the local environmental conditions of the site, with the distinctive ‘top hat’ zinc roof form incorporating overhanging verandas which provide solar shading to the classroom walls to prevent overheating. These external covered spaces also provide a shaded area for smaller informal classes.