Studio: supertecture gUG
Site: Dhoksan, Nepal
Task: 4 new schoolrooms for classes 6 to 8
Client: Patrizia Children Foundation
Area m²: 150
Design: team supertecture and students from HS Augsburg
Credits for photos: supertecture and Patrizia Children Foundation
Team: villagers of Dhoksan, students from HS Augsburg and volunteers from supertecture: Till Gröner, Angi Fendt, Nadine Maier, Philipp Reinecke, Tobias Veit, Valentin Kingler, Elek Fogarassy, Michael Elstner, Stefan Seifert, Simone Schiller, Anna-Lena Rischer, Marlit Pfeiffer, Daniela Lukas, Paul Hacker, Lena Mischalik, Stefan Meyer, Veronika Lell, Benedikt Dengler, Annabella Ranft, Carolin Jande
After Nepal‘s century quake in 2015 we have been invited to the primary school of the Himalaya mountain village „Dhoksan“. The school was in need of four additional rooms: three classrooms and a multifunctional library. In order to display some of Nepal‘s unlimited possibilities for reused, recycled, regenerative and circular construction technologies we decided to build every room as an individual house – every „classhouse“ from different innovative and underestimated materials: free donated „earthquake“ bricks, earth+bamboo+straw, „earthquake“-rocks + rocky slades , 700 old „earthquake“windows.
Nepal’s latest earthquake detroyed more than 800.000 buildings. Many of the incorporated windows have later been dumped in stocks for old windows and wood. We managed to collect around 700 old windows and to refurbish them. They became both: facades and roof of our multifunctional window-house. It features a library, a multipurpose room in the upper floor and a convenient students-slide towards their homes.
Some years ago almost every traditional building in our village’s neighborhood was built from rocks covered with rocky slades. After many houses collapsed during the latest earthquake no one is rebuilding these traditional houses anymore. Reinforced concrete skeleton structures are replacing traditional architecture and former grace of cities and landscapes. By using all those collapsed rocks again and by inventing round rock windows we tried to make rock-houses “en-vogue” again. All rocky materials in our classroom have their origin in former local rock buildings.
In Nepal‘s first brick-crowdfunding we convinced hundreds of households to donate some of the bricks from their earthquake-ruins. Finally we collected more than 14.000 bricks of 50 different types. For every individual type of brick we have designed a unique bonding. Even the roof consists of two different tiled pitches.
The second classroom is made of rammed local earth. Since the people of Dhoksan have not been very confi ndent of using this free material we decided to build our house from fi ve different layers with mixtures ranging from very simple to rather sophisticated earth aggregates: First we mixed earth with a little bit of cement, later with straw, needles and even cow shit. The building‘s roof is made of locally treated bamboo and it is covered with straw. Both: treatment of bamboo and straw had to be reinvented in „our“ village.
ARCHITECTURE IS A SUPER-POWER
It can transform, protect, energize and rescue society.
Aware of the underestimated general “super-power of architecture ©” we feel responsible for serving biggest basic public and social needs worldwide with our individual desire and our powerful profession.
That’s why we founded supertecture:
a non profit “think-tank-task-force” for the realisation of social community buildings with young Robin Hoods from all over the world who want to make a change through meaningful architecture and civil engineering.
Supertecture is a growing voluntary movement of young architecture that is priceless in a double sense:
We are longing for architectural quality with a high level of detail, joy, innovation, supervision and thirst for adventure – a passion that could not be financially compensated in its respective contexts. Our salary is the possibility to serve unprivileged communities with doing what we are in love with.
We rather seek to bring architectural peace and happiness to those who can’t afford any architecture at all.