The School Handmade in Rudrapur, northern Bangladesh, was completed in 2005 for METI (Modern Education and Training Institute). The school aims to provide holistic educational program for the rural population. The architectural design, material choices and construction system all reflect METI’s learning concept by providing spaces with various different characters, atmospheres and potential uses.
Massive earthen walls built using the simple “cobb” technique enclose the more sheltered ground floor spaces, which are more suited for concentration. Two organically formed earthen “caves” provide the children with a place to retreat and seclusion. The upper floor classrooms are expansive and airy, places for movement and group learning. This atmosphere is reflected in the light bamboo frame construction and large openings providing views into the landscape.
The project demonstrates the possibilities of building with earth and bamboo using simple methods as the continuation of the local rural building tradition and serves as an example for future building developments in the area. A training program provided 25 workers from the direct neighbourhood with the skills required to work with the new techniques independently.