Enko African School

  •   Location: Bamaco, Mali , Africa
  •   Year: 2021
  •   Project type: Public competition
  •   Author/Designer: YOUTH by Arhi.pro (Dimitrije Milić, Marija Džolić, Vladimir Bojović, Nikola Jovičić)
  •   Organizer: GRADNJA
  •   Area: 2.500 sqm

The project of the school is designed to meet all the requirements of the competition in terms of space organization, application of local materials, accessibility, and sustainability, but also to offer new design approaches in Bamako in terms of form, materialization, a play of light and shadow. The building was designed as a semi-atrium type, with a clear idea to transform from a cubic form into a free atrium form, which further emphasizes the relationship between the closure that the building communicates with its environment and the openness it possesses within its walls.

The atrium space, in addition to having the role of an interior courtyard towards which all communications face, is designed as an amphitheater in which outdoor classes can take place. The cascading of the building along the grid of the structure in the area of the primary school was used to obtain roof gardens which are accessed from the semi-open communication, to enable the primary school students their piece of the yard on each floor. The primary and secondary school zones are separated and positioned on the upper floors, with meeting points in the canteen and on the playground, while the complete administration, entrance zone, and canteen are located on the ground floor. Student toilets are positioned between the stairs so that they are accessible to all students. All rooms are oriented towards the neighboring plots, so that the complete communication and visual interaction of the students is directed towards the interior yard.The building structure is designed as reinforced concrete, in a fixed grid 340x340, forming a strong grid that is clearly readable on the facades, emphasizing the tectonics of the building. That tectonicity is lost in the atrium, where the construction is completely hidden, and the wooden shades deny such an arrangement with their ellipsoidal free form. The roof is designed as a double structure to enable the reflection of sunlight and the flow of air between the two roof layers, which prevents the roof slab from overheating. All the fields on the facade grid are built of brick in a recognizable 3D style, allowing the number and arrangement of windows to make a game on the facade and break the monotony of the concrete grid.

Further, in front of all windows are positioned wooden folding blinds which, in addition to their primary role, have the role of playing with the facade rhythm with their different openings. In that way are created different ambiances in the interior, so each classroom has a different play of light and shadow due to the different arrangement of windows and the angle of openness of the shading elements.