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Eskaapi : Bibliothèque

From a trip to the other end of the world, Maude Cannat and Rachel Méau, from the eskaapi association, have made an architectural project: a children's library located in the village of Abetenim in Ghana. By re-appropriating vernacular construction methods, the young builders have created an economical building that is perfectly suitable for future schoolchildren.

Just graduated from the architecture schools of Montpellier and Nantes, Maude Cannat and Rachel Méau embarked on an adventure at the other end of the world: the construction of a children's library in the village of Abetenim, in full Central Ghana. A winning project of the fourth edition of the Earth Architecture Competition organized by the Nka Foundation, promoting artistic and cultural initiatives in Africa.

After a year and a half of work, and with the help of some thirty international volunteers and a dozen local workers, the building of 160 square meters - literally - came out of the ground last November. With a budget of only 9 000 euros, obtained through fundraising, and with electricity absent from the site, they had to compete with inventions to limit the use of local resources in water and materials.

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For this, the architects imagined a compact building, erected on a square plan and articulated around a semi-buried central patio. The thick walls are made of rammed earth, a proposal that, in addition to its economic benefits, brings freshness within the building. An efficient envelope completed by the narrow vertical windows and the empty space left between this enclosure and the roof, which provides natural ventilation.

"There is something seductive in the use of the land. It is already there, it belongs to the place, it dresses the natural space by its color, its flexibility and its grain even before seeing the birth of an architecture. " Eskaapi Association

Inside, the square plan is composed of two L-shaped walk-in spaces around a patio: the first is for work and research, the second is occupied by terraces leading to the small central garden. Furniture and construction are one. Indeed, the shelves where the books rest are embedded in the walls. In addition, the wood used for the formwork has been recycled into parquet for the floor, while the doors come from the recovery.

This first workshop led by the association is a real success since, since then, three additional classes have been realized around the library by different teams: the Germans of Mate Masie, the Americans of Architeach and the Spaniards of Alberto Figueroa.

To learn more, visit the site of eskaapi

Pictures: eskaapi

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