Clay from local mines used to build school in Malian desert

Unfired bricks, made of clay from mines in the African state of Mali, were used by Dutch firm Levs Architecten to build a school on one of the country’s vast desert plains.

Located in Tanouan Ibi, a village within the  Dogon region, the primary school is made up of several blocks with the main teaching areas located in one single-storey classroom building.

The designers positioned three identically sized classrooms in a row along the central axis of this building, then added a pair of sheltered verandas to the two long sides to provide spaces where students can sit down between classes.

The architects enlisted students from a nearby university and members of the local community to help construct the building, using bricks to build walls, floors and roofing.

“The use of these blocks of compressed earth leads to a supple integration into the environment, corresponding to the way almost all Dogon villages fit into the landscape,” they said.

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