The new Fass School and Teachers' Residence by Toshiko Mori Architect in distant Senegal is the first school in an area of over 110 communities to provide secular education alongside traditional Quranic instruction. The school, which was built in conjunction with the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and Le Korsa, can accommodate up to 300 pupils aged 5 to 10.
The school's design, which was inspired by the 'One Room School House' in rural America where Josef Albers once taught, can accommodate pupils of all ages and stages of development. Four classrooms and two flexible areas are grouped around an inner courtyard in the design. The oval design facilitates efficient circulation between classrooms, allowing the school's few teachers to travel between courses rapidly. The change in height and closeness of the perimeter walls produces a broad range of parts and sensations throughout the structure.
The form of the structure was influenced by vernacular predecessors, and it was built with local, traditional techniques and materials. Small steel members and bamboo support mud-brick walls that are painted white to reflect heat and perforated to facilitate ventilation and circulation throughout the structure.
The thick thatch roof, an inversion of the classic pitched roof, promotes climatic comfort by offering efficient insulation against excessive heat. A stack effect permits heated air to climb toward the roof's peak while allowing cold air to enter the gaps. The distinctive design also maximizes rainfall drainage, channeling water into a canal that encircles the structure and flows into an existing aquifer, with a roof pitch of 45 degrees or more.
Photographs by Iwan Baan.
The Radius House is the young firm's first residential project, which was finished in the early weeks of 2022.