KenCada International Academy has announced an open international ideas contest for a new school campus in suburban Mombasa, Kenya (Deadline: 1 March)
Open to students and professional architects, the anonymous competition seeks ‘practical, innovative and modestly budgeted’ proposals for a school campus on a greenfield site in the suburban district of Bamburi.
The academy, which focuses on play-based learning as an alternative to traditional methods of linear teaching, wants to build the campus, for up to 236 students, on a 15,000m² site.
According to the brief: ‘KenCada was founded on the conviction that the best in Kenyan education and international 21st-century learning is urgently needed and should be made accessible to all Kenyan children.
‘The challenge is to design a new campus for KenCada that will serve as a learning space for its students. Designs should be mindful of the school’s locality, and seek to engage the community it inhabits. Local materials unique to the Swahili Coast should also be celebrated. A balance of modernity and local vernacular traditions would be ideal.’
Mombasa, on the Swahili Coast around 430km south-east of the capital Nairobi, is Kenya’s second-biggest city and the country’s only seaport. The city has tropical wet and dry climate with heavy rain and strong winds from June to August forcing many schools to close.
The contest focuses on a flat 15,000m² wasteland site surrounded by residential housing and connected to the surrounding area by dirt roads.
Proposed schems may rise up to three storeys and must include at least 12 learning spaces capable of hosting 236 students and 11 teachers, alongside an assembly hall, library, workshops, toilets and prayer rooms. Administrative offices, a conference room, staff room and security area will also be required.
Externally, schemes may incorporate a rooftop play area, covered picnic area, garden and swimming pool. The site should include measures to manage flood waters and include a perimeter security fence.
Submissions will be judged on their innovation, creativity, response to local context and brief and demonstration of core values throughout the design.
The winners of the competitions three categories – covering local, regional and international entries – will be announced in April and receive a $2,000 CAD prize each.
How to apply
The registration deadline is 1 March and submissions must be completed by 15 March.
KenCada International Academy
Old Malindi Rd
Tel: +254 716 141858
TAC-SEV Yeni Kampüsü case study: Q&A with Gizem Şahin
The architect at Erginoğlu & Çalışlar Architects discusses lessons learned designing a school for Tarsus, Turkey
How did your ‘TAC-SEV New Campus’ project create an appropriate education campus?
Tarsus is located on the south of Turkey, one of the warmer points of the Mediterranean, and has hosted various religions and civilisations for centuries. The new campus of TAC-SEV is built across the existing property of Tarsus American College, a well-established educational institution with a 100-year history. TAC receives high demands from surrounding provinces, and aims to provide a modern and urbanised way of life for its students. TAC-SEV New Campus project’s main objective is to create a modern educational environment that responds to the effects of the hot Mediterranean climate, and to create a relation with the historical texture surrounding the area. To achieve this, functions and their locations in the area are managed to provide the developing needs of the old campus and create a well-balanced relationship between interior and exterior, building mass and façade system – designed to compensate the climate effects and establish a relation with the surrounding buildings.
Which architectural, material and other methods did you harness?
Firstly, because the project area is located in a historical region, deep excavations have been avoided in order to protect historic remains that could possibly be unearthed during the digging process. Climatisation measures were used inside and outside the building, such as solar panels and photovoltaic panels located on the roof, trees planted close to the south façade, sunblinds and canopies that create a pathway in the garden. The special characteristics of the region and the district have been a guide for the selection of materials. The colour and the pattern of the precast façade material is the modern version of the traditional stone used all around the city. This material, which is expected to age like the periphery buildings and does not need to be painted, also removes the need for façade maintenance.
What advice would you have to participants on designing a new school campus for suburban Bamburi outside Mombasa?
Ffirst the participants should research the culture, geography and the tropical climate in the area, and try to understand the effects of these on the way of living. The primary design guidelines can be shaped by analysing the necessities of the programme, and possibilities of the local materials and construction techniques. Furthermore, researching student-centered modern learning techniques and trying to create distinctive spatial equivalents of these education systems, will help the participants create unique designs that will surely stand out.
Lycée Schorge Secondary School case study: Q&A with Kéré Architecture
The Berlin-based practice discusses lessons learned designing a new school campus for Burkina Faso
How did your Lycée Schorge Secondary School project create an appropriate education campus for Burkina Faso?
The primary goal of the design is to respond to the local climate conditions without the need for artificial climate control (air conditioning, etc). All of the classroom modules have wind towers, which aid in consistently ventilating the interior spaces. The project’s radial layout also takes cues from the architectural forms of the surrounding villages. There are several types of informal gathering areas in addition to the formal classroom environments. This responds to the many different learning methods that the students are accustomed to, – for example, many of them come from small rural villages where oftentimes children are educated by the elders or their parents in informal settings. The variety of ‘interstitial’ spaces, for example in between the wood sun-screen and stone classrooms, lets the students interact with each other and their teachers outside of the rigid classroom setting.
Which architectural, material and other methods did you harness?
The project was built primarily using local building materials. The walls are made from a locally harvested laterite stone, which is hand-processed from the earth. The sun screen is made from local eucalyptus wood. This tree is actually an invasive species that leaches moisture from the soil, exacerbating the problem of desertification. Despite the building’s unique architectural character, the locals recognise the techniques and materials used to build it. Even though there are modern aspects of the building, the material character roots the project in its surroundings. This is fundamental in how the students and local population accept the school as part of their community.