Kaleidoscope of butterflies

We imagine a place that inspires children to be green leaders. A place that sparks sustainability and reuse where kids are introduced to methods as living more in harmony with nature. The school is inspired by the butterfly to represent the adventurous spirit of children wandering and exploring into their new sustainable journey.

The school campus is designed into 3 type of modules representing the school, teacher houses and student dormitories that are carefully distributed in a zigzagging layout. This configuration creates a sequence of courtyards, each with its own unique features. A courtyard for cooking, meeting, entertainment, playing and gardening. Interesting vistas to the surrounding nature strike trough the campus. To further encourage outdoor activities in the courtyards we introduce an informal shuffled butterfly pergola.

The module for school and teachers housing are accessed through a lobby. Outdoor study is stimulated trough flexible walls that open as doors allowing a more fluid experience between inside/outside.

We encourage the community spirit and with it encourage the locals to take part of building. A light wood structure lifts up the butterfly thatched roof and allows diffuse light to enter while also generating natural ventilation. The materials are locally sourced and gathered. The walls are made out of rammed earth. The pergola is made of bamboo.

Underneath the butterfly shaped roof a weave of colorful African inspired patterns dress the façade. Although we propose a certain type of pattern we highly encourage the local community to design a pattern of their own liking and weave it together to strengthen the sense of community. Big drawings of animals paint the buildings and create a sense of joy from nature. We can imagine kids talking about the lion’s den, or the fish building.

Structure and materials
The school is a showcase of how sustainable methods of building can be something to enjoy rather then something that deprives. Rainwater is collected from rooftops and distributed to water containers that are submerged. They are made into canvases to celebrate creativity and art. Solar panels are spread out across structures representing trees made from bamboo. Tires collected from old cars and reused in a set of surprising ways. Creating furniture pieces, play elements and planters.

The school becomes a beacon of sustainable design and seeks out to deploy a way of thinking: Become more environmentally responsible without losing your cool.

Malawi school class
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