The first library of Muyinga, part of a future inclusive school for deaf children was built by Belgian studio BC Architects and members of the local community. The children’s library was built with rammed earth walls in Burundi, Africa.
BC Architects work in Africa started within the framework of OpenStructures.net. BC was asked to scale the “Open structures” model to an architectural level. A construction process involving end-users and second-hand economies was conceived. Product life cycles, water resource cycles en energy cycles were connected to this construction process. This OpenStructures architectural model was called Case Study (CS) 1: Katanga, Congo. It was theoretical, and fully research-based. 5 years later, the library of Muyinga in Burundi nears completion.
The challenge of limited resources for this project became an opportunity. They successfully managed to respect a short supply-chain of building materials and labour force, supporting local economy, and installing pride in the construction of a library with the poor people’s material: earth.
I believe that Architecture succeeds best when it is responsive to its local surroundings. I am impressed with the effective use of local materials and the research and studies that were carried out for the design and completion of the space. The space is aesthetically and structurally functional and successful, with the involvement of the local community it meant that there was a sense of pride and solidarity to the design process.
(Photo’s courtesy of Dezeen)