ARCò | Alessio Battistella | Terra Viva Visiting Professor 05.07.2015
Renovation of "Wadi Abu Hindi Primary School" (2010), Palestine
ARCò - Architecture and Cooperation - has been founded by a group of young engineers and architects that understand Architecture as the “resolution of contingent problems through an aesthetic interpretation – and so, sensitive – of reality”. Such an approach has led ARCò to find and to contribute with its own skills, the world of International Cooperation in order to face and to solve architectural problems in emergency situations.
Location - Occupied Palestinian Territory, Area C, Bedouin Camp of Wadi Abu Hindi, Al Azarije
Sustainability is approached in a social sense by seeking different techniques suitable to the specific sites of action, enabling self-construction processes, in an economic sense through the choice of the building techniques, using recycled and/or recyclable materials, in the environmental sense through the use of renewable energy sources and passive bioclimatic architecture principles. A fundamental goal for every project is the transmission of knowledge and skills through a process of capacity building of techniques and principles which have always been present in the local historical context.
Interior view - Classroom
The rehabilitation project for the existing school responds to the constraints imposed by the Israeli authorities: the building had to keep the external layer of iron sheet and could not grow any single squared meter. There have been two main design themes: natural ventilation and isolation of the building. The existing roof has been substituted by sandwich panels, raised and inclined, generating new opening strips from different heights which allow the natural ventilation.
Outdoor Garden - Playground
The exterior walls have been modified with the technique of "pisè", becoming a multi-layer wall 34 cm thick, including an interior lime plastering, bamboo layer, straw and clay mass, existing exterior iron sheet, air chamber micro-ventilated and exterior panels of bamboo. The new partitions between the rooms have been re-built with mud bricks. The materials used have all been from a craftsman and/or local origin, and the works have been carried out by the inhabitants of the village, under the technical direction of ARCò.