Location: Adisge Village, Ethiopia

Client: African Wildlife Foundation

Stage: Completion

Procurement Type: Contractor

Contractor: Daniel Alebachew Building Contractor

Local Delivery Partner: Tenot Architects


Built as part of a development assistance project for communities bounding the Simien Mountains National Park in northern Ethiopia, this primary school has been designed following child friendly principles. Structures have been conceived to be easily replicable in rural, isolated locations across the park, with a large proportion of materials being procured from the immediate vicinity, such as rocks, wood and soil.

All walls have been built using a technique called earthbag construction, by unskilled villagers. Roof structures were built with eucalyptus pole wood purchased from local farms, but redesigned so as to allow wider spans and therefore wider classrooms. The new roof design also allows for even, indirect sunlight to enter from a skylight whilst limiting distracting views from windows.

A central element of the scheme is an educational courtyard garden, which has been planted with indigenous species from the park in an effort to engage students in enjoying and caring for the wider natural resources of the park.