Tag Archives: Design

Cool School Winners Announced

How do you get to school if it’s minus 45 °C outside? How
do you gain an education when your nearest school is 20km
away? Witnessing this problem Building Trust international
launched an international design competition to challenge
designers and architects to provide a design solution which has
the chance to shape the future of school buildings across cold
regions globally.

I am thrilled to announce the winners of the Cool School Design competition:


WINNERS of the Cool School competition Kyle Wylde, Nathan Woodward, Stephen Hawkins and Charley Burrough from UK Architectural practice PLACE By Design.

A diverse and enthusiastic Urban Design and Architectural practice based in Bristol, UK have been announced as the winners in a design competition that hopes to provide a safe, comfortable, learning environment for 100 pupils, withstanding extreme temperatures in Mongolia. The competition had 475 registered entrants and a jury including representatives from Building Trust International, World Vision, UNICEF, The Mongolian Education Alliance, GIZ and most importantly the local Governor and school committee.

Building Trust international will be working closely with World Vision Mongolia and local partners to deliver the winning design during Summer 2015. We look forward to building the winning design which will deliver a new innovative school design to a much needed community in Khovd, Mongolia. I will be posting updates live from the build which will be taking place this Summer.

Check out the Honourable Mentions from the competition:


Maria Elena Beccaria Balduzzi and Martin Didžys based in Denmark.


Daniela Zuanigh, Jennifer Schiano and Carlotta Giusti from Italy


Andrew Kwok and David Majoe from the UK who are currently studying at the University of Bath


Lateral Office (Toronto, CAN) Lola Sheppard, Mason White, Kate Holbrook-Smith and Jack Lipson


Arup and Arup Associates


Yuval Zohar, Livio Ercoli, Guo Xiaojuan, Victor Vieaux and Mei Zhang from Shanghai-based MUDI Architects


Amirabbas Aboutalebi, Hooman Balazadeh, Yasaman forootan, Fatemeh Tajik, Artshin Mazoji, Hoda barzegar ganji and Samira Hajinasiri from Iran



Ragy Aly Mostafa Elsayed Elgendy, Marwa Kamel AbdelHamid El Sayed, Merna Nabil Saad Henen, Aymen Jamal Mohamed Abdelmaksoud, Hebaallah AbdelWahab Mohamed Fathi and Lora Nabil Saad Henen from Pharos University in Alexandria, Egypt.


Gary Robson, Sam Mitson
Nathan Mundy and Thora Arnardottir from Brightspace Architects in the UK

I would like to thank all those participants who took part in such an exciting competition.

Thanks for reading,


Bamboo Trees: Building with Bamboo in the Laos Jungle

For 3 weeks in April, I had the fantastic opportunity to assist in hosting Building Trust’s latest design + build workshop in the Laos jungle. With a team of international volunteers, Laos workers and Building Trust staff we completed the build of an innovative fundraising merchandise store for Free the Bears.


Following the construction of several built projects in South East Asia using natural materials and seeing the growing interest and response in sustainable design and natural materials such as bamboo. Building Trust organised a Design + Build workshop to be held at Kuang Si Falls on the outskirts of Luang Prabang with Free the Bears. Working alongside Atelier COLE, a new merchandise store was designed and built which educates both workshop participants and the high volume of annual tourist visitors to the Tat Kuang Si Park on building with bamboo.


Free the Bears work tirelessly to combat the illegal trade in live bears and provide a safe sanctuary for any rescued bears at Tat Kuang Si Rescue Centre. Most of the bears at the centre are Asiatic Black Bears (Moon Bears) that were illegally captured from the wild as young cubs. It is likely that they were destined for use in the traditional medicine trade. The merchandise store will enable Free the Bears to sell items such as T-shirts, in order to receive much needed donations to allow them to continue their ongoing efforts to protect bears in Laos and beyond.


The fluted fountain like canopies protect the deck area by catching rain water and passing it through the gravel filled, hollow, circular foundation footings. As with all Building Trust projects the Bamboo Trees project worked closely with the local community who in this case were Khmu. They assisted in sharing local skills such as bamboo, rattan weaving and palm thatching which were later used to develop the roof of the structure.


The bamboo is complimented by rope (around 10 kilometres) that spirals around the structure, weaving each piece together and creating strength from the whole. The resulting tensegrity structures lean against each other in a tripartite vault.



You can see more photos of the construction of Bamboo Trees Here and be sure to check out more about Free The Bears!

Thanks for reading!


Design + Build in Italy – August 2015

Italy Design and Build poster opt 2
I am very happy to announce details of Building Trust international’s latest Design + Build workshop which will be held in Italy in August 2015.
Design + Build Workshop, Italy 2015

What will workshop participants learn?

We are happy to announce that we will be working with “Terraepaglia”, a group of artisan handicraft experts who specialize in natural construction methods. Along with creating innovative buildings from earth and straw, Terraepaglia aim to publicize and educate on the use of natural materials and local techniques, that are often considered obsolete and less efficient than modern techniques. The value of this project is in the creation of functional spaces to communicate the importance of sustainable architecture, made of local reused materials.

This is a hands on course working with others to learn on-site skills such as:

  • Adobe bricks mixing and making
  • Soil testing
  • Straw bale construction
  • Rammed earth
  • Wattle and daub walls
  • Natural plastering
  • Wood flooring
When:  The fun bit with hands on lessons in the techniques mentioned above Mon 17th August – Sat 29th August 2015
If you would like to take part in our latest workshop please email info@buildingtrustinternational.org and check out more on our partners Terraepaglia
Thanks for reading,


Building Trust are designing and building teacher housing in Battambang with SeeBeyondBorders. The pilot house will hopefully be the start of a wider roll out of both housing for teachers and new classrooms for students…

Check out the latest images from site:




I look forward to updating on on the final week of the build with completed photos very soon.

Thanks for reading,


Cool School: Design for an Extreme Climate

Cool School competition poster

I am very excited to announce the launch of the 6th Building Trust design competition. The competition entitled ‘Cool School’ challenges architects, designers and engineers to submit an innovative school design proposal that can withstand the extreme Mongolian winters. 
The competition brief can be downloaded from below:
Registration Information:
Early-bird Registration : £50 (23rd Jan – 6th Feb)
Advance Registration : £75 (7th Feb – 27th Feb)
Final Registration: £100 (28th Feb – 6th March)
Closing date for all submissions – 3rd April 2015
Announcement of winners to be posted on www.buildingtrustinternational.org – 1st May 2015
The competition challenges architects, designers and engineers to provide a design solution which has the chance to shape the future of school buildings across cold regions globally.
Contestants should consider environmental conditions, materials, space, comfort, accessibility, adaptability and aesthetics. Building Trust international will work alongside competition partners, World Vision, local government and the school community in Khovd, Mongolia to build the winning school design. 
2 3 4
Images of the existing school building in Khovd. Keep an eye out for results which will be shared in May!

Moved to Care Build

The Moved to Care project seeks to decentralize healthcare throughout the South East Asian region. It provides small, relocatable, fully equipped clinics that can respond to changing needs whilst offering NGOs and government service providers a flexible, low risk way to deliver healthcare. The design is the result of an international design competition held by Building Trust International and the pilot is currently being built in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

In October, the winning team from the Moved to Care competition came to Phnom Penh to kick start the build of their winning design.


Choosing the correct container and moving it into position on site.


Welding begins on site after side panels have been removed.


Discussing the design with contract manager William.



Winners of the Moved2Care design challenge stand within what will be the latest in mobile healthcare.

Moving School 003 complete

Mae Sot, Thailand

It has been a while since I last updated you with the progress of Moving School 003 at Hope School on the outskirts of Mae Sot in Thailand. After the foundations were fitted by the local community it was time to bolt together the structure for the classrooms.

Steel frame structure Moving School 003
Steel frame structure Moving School 003

Moving School 003 consists of 2 large classrooms which will be a cool, light learning environment for the pupils of Hope School. After the steel structure was secured in place, the next step was to fit the roof material. The Ironwood team along with Jan Glasmeier from Agora Architects and the Building Trust team fixed the roof into place before the rainy season really began!

Fixing Roof material to Moving School 003
Fixing Roof material to Moving School 003
Rainy season starts in Mae Sot!!
Rainy season starts in Mae Sot!!

With the roof firmly secured in place the team were able to begin fitting the cementitious wood floor boards into the school structure and began fixing the twin polycarbonate material for the wall panels into place. The polycarbonate material was kindly donated by Bayer Thailand.

Twin polycarbonate material for walls is fitted
Twin polycarbonate material for walls is fitted

The final result of the Moving School 003 design is truly fantastic, not only will the structure provide a light and clean environment for the students but the structure also fits well into the bamboo forest surroundings.

Moving School 003
Moving School 003
Moving School 003 internal classroom
Moving School 003 internal classroom

Many thanks to all those involved in the construction of Moving School 003 and to Bayer Thailand for their very generous donation of fabric to create the walls of Moving School 002 and 003.

We look forward to sharing further images of the pupils enjoying their new school building in the coming months.

Thanks for reading,