The METI school (Modern Education and Training Institute) building was built by experts and volunteers from Germany and Austria together with craftsmen, teachers, parents and students from Bangladesh from September to December 2005.
The building won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
In order to create jobs and to build up a capacity for producing sustainable architecture it is essential to include local workers in the building process. Training through “learning by doing” should help the local craftsmen to improve the standards and condition of the rural housing in general.
Thick walls assure a comfortable climate on the ground floor of the building. Sunlight and ventilation can be regulated through the use of shutters. The vertical garden façade shades the openings in the walls and protects the natural earthen walls from erosion through rainfall and helps reduce the indoor temperature through evaporation...
To test the construction techniques, joints and bearing strength of the ceiling, a 3 m long test section was built as well as small part of the roof beam construction. These constructions were then tested and analysed in the laboratory to ascertain their structural capacity. The results of the tests led to modifications in the construction technique.
As part of the ground-breaking ceremony all METI students and facilitators signed their names on a document that is now placed in the first section of mud wall and will last as long as the building does … a very long time …
With the second layer of “weller” mixture, the walls have now reached a height of 1.40 m.The first layer was trimmed with a spade to the dimensions desired after a short period of drying…
Completion of the third layer of earth. The prefabrication of the
bamboo beam and frame construction started in parallel to help keep the
building process on track after the walls have been built.
Sophisticated auxiliary constructions were necessary to straighten the
curved bamboo sticks.
Roof construction. The difficult process of fitting the frame constructions on the first floor started. Every frame has to be lifted by using manpower as there is no crane. The prefabricated frames consist of a bamboo beam and a pair of vertical and diagonal poles. Laths are fixed on top of the bamboo construction to stabilise and used to fix the corrugated iron panel roofing. A total of 2300 bamboo poles are used for the ceiling and frame constructions.
After only a slight delay the building was finished in mid-December. After the holidays, the METI schoolchildren were able to use the building and take over their new classrooms.
By architects Anna Heringer from Austria and Eike Roswag from Germany.
Photos © Kurt Hörbst
The METI (Modern Education and Training Institute) concept is a very special kind of educational approach. It is the result and product of extensive knowledge and practice of children’s education and integrated rural development by Dipshikha. METI initiated in 1999 in Rudrapur, a village in the northern part of Bangladesh, is being replicated in Dinajpur town and Osmanpur, Ghoraghat on demand of these areas.