Having established its expertise with successful school building projects in Gando, Kéré Architecture was commissioned to build the Dano Secondary School in Burkina Faso. The building was designed from the outset with the goal of making it environmentally sustainable and appropriate to its specific climatic conditions.
The school consists of three classrooms, a computer room, office space and a shaded seating area sunken below ground level to host more informal learning sessions.
The laterite stone used for the main body of the building is abundantly available in the region and lends the walls their rich reddish-brown tone. The material is an excellent source of thermal mass, helping to absorb the ambient heat inside the building.
Upside-down plaster vaults reminiscent of draped fabric hang above the classrooms, diffusing indirect sunlight to make the space brighter without increasing its temperature. Gaps are introduced between the modular plaster elements, allowing hot air to travel upwards.
An elegant truss structure, shaped like the body of a fish, holds up the corrugated metal roof. The roof undulates along the length of the building, silhouetted against the bright sky. Its generous overhang, combined with the building’s east-west orientation, helps to reduce the impact of direct sunlight.
The construction of the Dano Secondary School, which coincided with that of the Gando Primary School Extension, was carried out in collaboration with young people trained in previous Kéré Architecture projects in the region. Through this working model, the local workforce gained not only a newfound appreciation of traditional building materials, but also further experience, training and education.