The Mwabwindo School, a project spearheaded by the NGO 14+ Foundation and designed by Selldorf Architects, is nearing completion. The school will eventually serve primary students in rural Zambia, in Mwabwindo Village, where travel to school is one of the biggest barriers to delivering quality education. The school aims to increase educational accessibility by being in a convenient location for rural African communities, with comfortable facilities that promote sustainability and will contribute positively to southern Zambia’s economy.
The building’s design is inspired by the tall, singular trees on the surrounding savanna, where villagers gather for shade against the harsh sun of the Central African Plateau. The classrooms will be made of mud-bricks arranged around a courtyard and an internal street, which will be able to host 175 students. Mud-brick classrooms are comprised of handmade bricks that are made on site and will be constructed by local masons to encourage job growth in the area.
This structure will be covered by a vast, corrugated metal roof canopy, which will provide shade and respite. Additionally, the program includes a building that will provide housing for eight teachers, a community vegetable garden and playing fields. The project aims to promote environmental sustainability, and rainwater will be collected for use in the community gardens. Solar panels will also be utilised, providing energy for the school and teacher’s housing, and a windmill will pump well water into the facilities.