The Hong Kong-based architectural studio Orient Occident Atelier has designed Adventurous Global School an elementary school that is located in Sneung, Battambang, Cambodia.
Project description by architect:
The school transforms the construction site itself into a learning kit. The building is not only a traditional lecture space but a proactive space for learning design, construction and spatial creativity. During construction, students will take part in some manageable design. Local kids explore new uses of space by action. They climb the “Griddy” construction as though it’s a jungle gym.
The school is a versatile architectural building envelope. There are spatial flexibilities to the end-users‚ the “Griddy” detail ironmongeries allow the re-configuration of the openings, shelves and lockers. The wall is a double layer steel frame with local wood plates allowing storage and even vertical circulation. The ground classrooms are seamlessly connected with adjacent houses and fields, thereby catering to different events, learning activities and class sizes. The relation between interior and exterior can thus be customized by the users in the future. It’s a welcoming space in which other villagers and students can always see what’s going on and join the classes.
The design utilizes vernacular methodologies and material. Bricks, GMS, and wood were discovered from the region which are common building materials. Levitated concrete structure mitigates flooding problem and preserves the traditional Cambodian ground floor open space. Local construction methodology was used – cost-saving and also empowers people with local skills. The use of the local construction methodologies enabled cost-savings and empowered people with local skills to help build with efficiency.
The project preserves the village context with a bottom-up design approach. The school development triggers various improvements for the rural village.
We believe in the power of architecture enriching the lives of those improvised. The school design empowers the teachers and students to constantly engage in design, redesign and utilize the teaching and learning spaces which best suit their interests and curriculum needs. The school embodies a versatile architectural building envelope named “Griddy”. Its detail and ironmongeries allow the re-configuration of the openings, shelves and lockers. The wall consists of a double layer steel frame with local timber plates inserted allowing storage and even vertical circulation.
The ground classrooms are seamlessly connected with adjacent houses and fields, in which its relationship between the interior and exterior can be customized by the users, thereby catering different event needs, learning activities and class sizes. It’s a welcoming space in which other villagers and students can always see what’s going on and join the classes. After the school was set up, more power supply, tuck shops, water filtration system were set up around. The building is not merely a cluster of classrooms but a social hub where the provision of education, sanitation, retail, community infrastructure, gathering space, etc. could be possible, hence improving daily lives of the villagers. Over the course of 3 years, it has attracted dozens of volunteers to help build and teach at the site.