Architecture that Educates
The American International School of Mozambique - Mozambique
Drawings, plans, elevations
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Architecture that EDUCATES
The American International School of Mozambique in Maputo.
Founded in 1990 with only 46 students, by 2013 the school had reached full capacity at over 500 students representing more than 50 nationalities and was looking to expand to over 750 by 2017.
The school launched an international design competition for the school.
After receiving a range of national and international entries, Craft of Architecture won the competition with a holistic design approach that focused on delivering an innovative masterplan.
We had embarked on an extensive research project on the importance of school environments and how these features have a direct impact and correlation with students learning potential and results. 6 key principles needed to be considered: Site planning, Landscaping, Healthy Buildings including considerations of Indoor Air Quality, Acoustics and Natural lighting, Insulation, Ventilation & Air Conditioning and Water Efficiency which have all been incorporated as part of the design process of this extension.
Water efficiency – waste water is harvested from the bathrooms, kitchens and ablution facilities using a small scale passive wastewater treatment system that is used for irrigating the landscape.
Research has shown that daylight is associated with a 20% to 26% faster learning rate and learning spaces with operable windows are seen to be associated with 7% to 8% improvement in student performance.
Our design response rationalised and reorganised the layout of the facilities, adding state of the art, sustainable healthy learning facilities.
The school was re-organised into separate mini-campuses, early learning, junior and senior school, arts and music department, science and maths campus, a cafeteria and two completely new dedicated outdoor sports facilities, gymnasium.
Beyond the Music facilities we designed 3 Science and Maths buildings, in a staggered block plan separated by cool shaded outdoor courtyard spaces.
The cafeteria was conceived as the central hub of the school, containing a canteen to accommodate 750 kids, teacher’s meeting space, a multi-purpose hall, tuck shop and outdoor flexible shaded eating space, overlooking a new central green courtyard. The canteen areas are naturally cooled with no air conditioning and the envelope was carefully designed with a large array of solar shading fins on the south west elevation to allow this façade to be opened up for indoor / outdoor flow between the inside and outside seating areas.
The sports facilities were split into two zones on the school’s newly purchased parcels of land. The junior school multi purpose playing field is set to the east, whilst a new gymnasium with covered courts and swimming pool are set to the west. The court enclosure is naturally ventilated being orientated to maximize on the cooling effect of the prevailing north-easterly wind from the ocean. The roof faces down wind with a large stepped opening at its apex, designed to act as a chimney sucking in cooler air from large vents on all four facades as the prevailing wind blows over the roof.
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