Design Concept C, for the Phuleli Lower Secondary School, calls for two new buildings sited on differing terraces. The buildings are oriented in such a way that the resulting area between creates an outdoor classroom or community gathering space. The design is a new take on rural Nepal’s existing vernacular. Concept C incorporates the chiseled stone blocks and corrugated metal/polycarbonate sheets that are currently used on site, while introducing the use of bamboo, ferrocement, and gabion blocks as new building materials.
Bamboo is a local sustainable plant that is both strong and light weight. When bound with ferrocement the bamboo can make extremely sturdy trusses to support the corrugated metal roofs. The introduction of gabion blocks is a result of the Nepalese building methods. Workers chisel stone into rectilinear building blocks leaving behind useless stone chips. Using this construction debris to fill wire cages creates gabion blocks and eliminates waste. Concept C calls for using gabion blocks for sitting steps to bridge between the existing terraces. These steps can be used by students when class is held outside. Atop the gabion steps are vertical translucent polycarbonate sheets which help reverberate acoustics while also adding a layer of privacy to the newly built classrooms.
Location: Phuleli, Nepal