The Milembe Secondary School Science Labs project by Pamela W. Hawkes FAIA and Scott Teas AIA, principals of Scattergood Design in Portland, ME has won a 2017 Honor Award from AIA New England Region. The Labs are the first phase of a campus master plan developed by the design team on a pro bono basis in partnership with the American NGO Africa Schoolhouse and the District in 2013, to create the first public boarding school for girls in the region. Less than 4% of high-school-age girls in Tanzania complete secondary school, due to limited family resources, excessive domestic duties, early marriage and unsafe travel distances. The current project helps Misungwi District, one of the poorest in the region and second to last academically, meet Tanzanian directives that all public secondary schools have science labs to promote training in science, technology and math.
Seven Honor Awards, six Merit Awards, and twelve Citation Awards were announced October 20 for the 2017 AIA (American Institute of Architects) New England Regional Design Awards. 275 entries were submitted for consideration. The Philadelphia-based jury included The jury consisted of chair, Sameer Kumar, AIA, LEED AP, Director of Enclosure Design at SHoP, New York and Lecturer in Architecture at PennDesign; Rashida Ng, Chair of Architecture Dept. and Assoc. Professor at Temple University; and, Mark Sanderson AIA, Principal, DIGSAU, Philadelphia.
The jury commented that the Milembe Labs project was
…first and foremost, a very handsome piece of architecture, skillfully assembled with respect for its immediate environment. A well-integrated use of passive systems and local materials help control the costs, both initial and recurring. Above all, the social purpose of the project and the care that the design team brought to it is highly commended. We would like to acknowledge the diversity in practice and the contexts in which we choose to build.
Located on gently sloping former farmland on the southern shores of Lake Victoria, the Milembe School site has no utilities and limited access to building materials and tools. Classroom designs maximized natural light, ventilation and shading to create optimal learning environments, while capitalizing on skills of Africa Schoolhouse construction crews. Floor slabs, concrete block and wood trusses were formed on site, with a storage shed serving as a mockup to test details during the month that Hawkes and Teas spent on site with the crew in January 2015.
A louver/sash prototype made with fiberglass roofing panels was created by the design team to offer maximum ventilation and indirect light when open, rain protection and security when closed. Enhancing community impact, the operable shutters were built by a local furniture craft school at about half the cost of conventional aluminum windows imported from China, which prove difficult to maintain. When completed in 2016, two of the laboratories were furnished as classrooms, effectively doubling the number of spaces on a campus that serves 300 students in four grade levels and enabling buildings to evolve as the campus develops.
Photos are available on the AIA New England website, www.aianewengland.org
The Milembe Secondary School Science Labs project by Pamela W. Hawkes FAIA and Scott Teas AIA, principals of Scattergood Design in Portland, ME has won a 2017 Honor Award from AIA New England Region. The Labs are the first phase of a campus master plan developed by the design team on a pro bono basis… Read more »
Foundations in place, April 8, 2017 with Science Labs and current classrooms in the background. At the end of March, the Africa Schoolhouse crew began construction on the first teacher house at Milembe School. Located to the rear of the science laboratories built last year, this structure will allow the Head Teacher to live on site… Read more »
FUTURE SCIENTISTS OF TANZANIA Students and teachers moved into the three new science buildings created by Africa Schoolhouse at Milembe School in early December. It seems like only yesterday that we were on site near Misungwi, Tanzania watching the crews pour the foundations, making adjustments to the cement block walls and cheering as the first… Read more »
The rooftops of the Science Labs, as well as the new latrines and storage building, have appeared on Google Earth. We’re not sure how often the countryside of Tanzania is flown and updated, but it’s exciting that anyone in the world can monitor the progress of the Milembe School for Girls from afar. Closer to… Read more »
Front of Lab A, with doors awaiting weaving Photos fresh off the phone from Kishosha in Tanzania this morning show the laboratory buildings and latrines at Milembe School are nearly finished. The first group of windows were trucked from Bujora last week, and are being installed in Laboratory A. Bamboo screens over fiberglass panels in… Read more »