The Burkina Institute of Technology in Koudougou harnesses local materials in an orthogonal, modular design
Kéré Architecture, the Berlin-based studio run by Diébédo Francis Kéré, has completed the Burkina Institute of Technology in Koudougou, a city in central Burkina Faso. The project expands the campus of the Lycée Schorge secondary school, which Kéré also designed in 2016. The new facility allows high school graduates to continue their education, focusing on technology and entrepreneurship.
The Burkina Institute of Technology is designed using a system of repeated modules, housing classrooms and supporting functions, arranged orthogonally around a rectangular courtyard. This orthogonal, modular arrangement enables the campus to expand incrementally according to evolving need. The modules are staggered, allowing air to flow through the central courtyard, creating a cool space where students can relax and interact.
The walls of the structure are made of poured local clay, cast in-situ. This method meant that construction could be completed within a tight timeframe, using large formworks. Although the classrooms need mechanical air conditioning because of the IT equipment, the thick clay walls contribute significantly to cooling down the interior spaces.
The repetitive angular roof profiles create a dynamic rhythm and form chimneys at the back of each module where built-up warm air can be released, supporting natural ventilation. Hung ceilings, made of local eucalyptus wood, complement the clay walls and introduce textural diversity. To create a sense of unity with the rest of the campus, the buildings are clad in a ‘skin’ of eucalyptus wood – similar to the Lycée building – that lets air through whilst shading the interior circulation spaces.
Located on a flood plain, the project included extensive landscaping work to protect the buildings. During the rainy season, water is channelled into a large underground tank that is later used to irrigate the extensive mango plantations on the campus.
Photography by Jaime Herraiz for Kéré Architecture
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