04_AWF_DRY STACK LOCAL GRANITE SEATS AND BALANCING WALLS IN CONSTRUCTION
07_LANDSCAPE WALLS IN CONSTRUCTION
Educational schools / Conservation project, Kidepo Valley, Northern Uganda.
The Place – The Landscape Studio are working with African Wildlife Foundation and Studio FH Architects to develop two designs for two schools on the edge of the Kidepo National Park on the border between Uganda and South Sudan.The setting for the two school range from one location right next to the park (Geremech School) and a more Agricultural setting (Sarachom School).
The Brief – Provide an environmentally responsible design which seeks to the embrace the unique ecology within the area and to promote exterior teaching and an appreciation of the importance of nature.
The Design – our approach to sustainability in our projects stems from an acute sensitivity and understanding to the sites in which we work. This very remote project in N Uganda & S Sudan seeks to provide the exterior needs for two primary schools funded by the AWF. Our designs had to provide for the school children, with a minimal budget whilst minimising the environmental impact on the immediate site and surrounding landscape. We studied carefully the water cycle, soil and sub rock conditions and associative flora in the semi-arid zone and in doing so better understood the human impact on such an environment. This understanding lead to our simple solutions, designed to allow for a balanced co-existence of humanity and nature.
We always seek to investigate how we can use the most local in construction materials to ensure we are reducing the carbon footprint of our designs as well as supporting local communities. Here, our key hardscape material is hand quarried granite, sourced 100m from site, and used to create seating and balancing walls for the outdoor classrooms, always placed in the shade of existing trees. As dry stack walls the range of materials is reduced, minimising the environmental impact importing materials to site.
As in most of our projects, here, we are using only an indigenous pallet, sourcing seed from the surround trees and shrub-land to supply the project nursery. By only using plants suited to the local environment we are ensuring the sites continue to be valuable habitats for local fauna, insects and birds, whilst making sure they do not have any negative impact on the surrounding landscape through high water consumption or by being invasive.