Flor da Manha - A Mozambican Preschool
At the end of 2019, Team WAD participated in an architectural competition hosted by Archstorming that would benefit pre-school aged children in Mozambique. The aim of the competition was to create a space where they can freely learn and grow in a country where a majority of the population lives below the poverty line and where education is a challenge - financially, mentally and socially.
To learn more about the brief of the project, you can check out the website below:
The school is designed to receive children from all backgrounds and to nurture, grow and accommodate all their needs. With its welcoming design, visitors are led to two main buildings, the students quarter to the right and the teachers and visitors quarter to the left. Both quarters are situated to follow the land's topography and receive the best of the surrounding environment throughout the year.
The setting out of the building is made easy through the use of two reference points that follow the natural curvature of the land. Emergency exits are located near the kitchen, multipurpose hall, teachers quarter and students quarter. The water tank is located south on the highest point next to the main kitchen, while the septic tank is located in the northern section of the land, allowing gravity to direct the water movement through the designated areas and leading greywater to be reused in the plant nursery.
Linear ceiling openings and high openings in walls keep rooms well lit with indirect sunlight during the day, while breathable bamboo roofing gives cool shelter from the harsh sun and the warm breeze. Breeze walls are used in all classrooms and rooms to allow for the exchange of air and to cool the interior spaces.
Natural surveillance is applied in the design through the use of different openings and the use of levels. The two quarters overlook the main axis that runs from the east, where the main entrance is, to the west where an emergency exit is located. While the Principal is given a higher view of the children's quarter, teachers, on the other hand, are given quicker access to it. This maximises visibility and encourages a safer environment around the school.
Wood, bricks and bamboo form the building, where wood is used for the framing of the structure, bricks for the walls and bamboo for the roof and porches. Together, the three materials provide a strong sustainable non-toxic shelter and respond well to the curves in the design. The bamboo is used to collect rainwater and channel it to the water tank.
While the bricks are used to provide fire, insect, and mold resistant environment for the children and all users. The earthen floor is used in the teachers and visitors quarter for its low embodied energy and fire-resistant quality, providing a safe and durable surface suitable for use in common areas and under the wood stove in the kitchen.
Going Beyond The Architecture
Team WAD also proposed a logo for the school. Flor da Manha is a place for every boy and girl to learn, grow and shine. The logo colours and patterns are inspired by the Mozambican nature and rich culture.