In the northern part of Mozambique, Ziegert Roswag Seiler Architekten Ingenieure were appointed by the Aga Khan Foundation to construct 11 rural primary schools using local building materials such as earth, straw, palm-leaves and bamboo. The buildings can also be used as community centres and were conceived as pilot projects, from which local materials, crafts and techniques could be revived and further developed by local actors, thus strengthening regional cultural identity.
Simple improvements were made to the traditional building typology such as the introduction of a damp proof course and termite protection for timber and bamboo elements, furthermore a roof system was developed which can span 6,0m. As such the new typology is a logical and more durable extension of the local tradition and opens up new possibilities for construction for local actors.
The project also aimed to strengthen local economies by training and employing local craftsmen while setting up a new local building collective. The training program was documented in a manual produced by ZRS, which can be used by other actors and crafsmen in the region to reproduce the techniques developed as part of the program. Thus collectively produced knowledge can be shared and the benefits of the project made accessible for another generation of users.
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