With the roof and floor installed at the New Road site, the Ironwood team were ready to fit the walls to the school building. After a successful meeting with Bayer AG, a German chemical and pharmaceutical company in Bangkok we received the fantastic news that the organisation would provide the wall material for both Moving School 002 and 003. The material to be used was a twin walled polycarbonate which has the benefit of being lightweight, durable and UV resistant and would allow the internal classrooms to be kept cool and light.
A member of the Bayer team from the Bangkok office kindly agreed to visit us in Mae Sot bringing with him a wealth of knowledge as to how to install the material. He instructed us the best methods of using the material and the suitable fixings to ensure the product remained water tight.
The next step was to construct the wooden panels which would hold the plastic sheets in place. When all panels were finished and made in the workshop they were taken to the Moving School 002 site to be installed while classes continued for the school pupils in the old cramped building.
The wooden panels were built with sections to be used for windows which will add extra ventilation and light when needed into the classrooms.
We were very happy to see Moving School 002 nearly complete and looking fantastic! We would like to thank Bayer for kindly donating the polycarbonate material which will ensure the classrooms stay light and airy and have a great impact on the learning environment of the pupils from New Road.
It was now time for the Opening Ceremony and Bayer kindly treated the boys & girls of New Road to ice cream and a new school book.
We would like to thank the fantastic team at Ironwood for their hard work and dedication and to Jan from Agora Architects for his support and assistance. We look forward to sharing with you photos of the pupils in their new school classrooms very soon!
I am very happy to share with you an update live from the Thai/Burma border with details of the progress of the first Moving Schools project at Thu Kha Hang Sar school. To prepare the school for the upcoming rainy season, we have re-recruited the team from Iron Wood part of the Youth Connect social enterprise to carry out necessary metal and wood work on the school site. In order to ensure the building is water tight we will be adding additional wall structure to the school which will also provide extra security. We are currently installing a steel frame to the outside wall panels. The steel frame contains a section with a built in white board which will be of great benefit to the teachers. The Iron Wood team are also installing a window for each classroom which can be opened and closed by a clever pulley system.
The additional steel frame window structures will ensure the internal structure is rain tight. The great benefit of the pulley system windows will allow the classrooms to maintain cool air circulation whilst also giving added protection to the building.
Wooden panels have been added to the current floor boards to allow the wood and bamboo wall panels which were made last Summer to sit along the corridor of the school. These panels can then be taken down in dry season to create the current open plan design. Adding this feature will allow the teachers to have dual purpose classrooms which can be closed off in rainy season and open in dry season.
Please look out for my next blog post which will detail the window pulley system design and photos of the finished school.
Announcement of the winning designs from the Cambodian Housing Competition:
I am very excited to share with you details of the results from the Building Trust International Cambodian Housing Competition. The competition which took place between October – January challenged professional and student Architects and Designers to come up with innovative and exciting design proposals for a housing design which could withstand flooding and offer a safe and secure home for low income families in Cambodia. Another challenging factor of the brief was the come up with a solution that met the budget of $2000. To read the full design brief please click here
As I aim to promote humanitarian design within Universities and Educational Institutions it was fantastic to see a variety of concepts from students from countries around the World. It was easy to see from the results of the competition that by setting a challenging competition brief to a student group peer learning can be promoted and an increase in high quality designs and thought process will occur. It was great to discuss with proactive University professors who were very happy to set this challenging brief to their students as part of their curriculum. I hope through sharing the results, we will be able to connect with more Universities in the hope to set further humanitarian design briefs to students around the World.
I am proud to announce the winning team from the Student category as Sanaz Amindeldar from Tehran University, Nastaran Hadidi from Isfahan University of Art, Ehsan Naderi from Islamic Azad University North Tehran Branch and Siamak Khaksar from Shahid Beheshti University.
The Iranian team created a modular housing system, with different arrangements of modules allowing the Cambodian family to design their house based on their needs and tastes.
I am also very happy to share with you details of the 4 short listed Student entries:
‘Litter of Life’ by Zhang Zhiyang and Liu Chunyao from Harbin Institute of Technology, China came up with a design using recycled materials to create a new housing solution.
‘I-Home’ by ZHAO Jingxian, CHIONG Zhimin and QIU Lidan from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. Instead of a single housing design the team offered a housing system which the user could choose different facades and interiors.
‘C-House’ by NAN TIAN, QIN LING, QIU PEIRAN and CHENG KUN from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. The team aimed to create a better housing model with changeable structures through the use of modular units which are applied to fit various conditions, assembled free and built fast.
‘semi H House’ by Cai Zeyu, Chen Fengqian, Yang Tianyu and Liu Qun from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. The team hoped to create a sustainable house incorporating environmental-friendly features for low income families in Cambodia.
The jury panel day was carried out in Phnom Penh last week with representatives from Building Trust International, Habitat for Humanity Cambodia, Karuna Cambodia, MIT, Collective Studio, members of the Cambodian Society of Architects and most importantly the families that are going to live in the houses once they are built later this year. The jury selection was carried out under complete anonymity, it was very interesting to see that 3 of the short listed student designs came from the same Educational Institution : Tsinghua University in China. I believe that this is due to the fact that through setting a clear and challenging humanitarian design brief to a group of students in the same class will create fantastic results as the students are able to work together to create exciting and innovative design solutions.
I hope that in our future competitions we can promote the use of Building Trust design briefs in school curriculum and create powerful design solutions from the young designers and architects of today. If you are interested in setting a design brief to your students or are a student who would like to get your professor thinking about humanitarian design please get in touch.
Please note an exhibition showcasing the winning and short listed student and professional designs will be held in Cambodia in May. If you would like to know more about the event, please get in touch.
In the professional category, three international architecture firms were announced as joint winners of the competition. The three winning designs by teams from the UK, Australia and USA will be constructed in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Cambodia in the upcoming months, I look forward to sharing with you images from the build.
I documented in my blog last year about how my very good friend Matt decided to put his faith in Building Trust and spend his holiday from his London city job to spend two weeks filming the school build. Matt believed in us and travelled for the first time out of Europe to document the Moving Schools build. We were very happy to have Matt with us and it was fantastic that he managed to film the early stages of the build. He was able to capture the arrival of our International set of volunteers and the moment when the Thu Kha Hang Sar headmistress, Chan Chan dug the first foundation hole for the school.
After Matt left to go back to his city job (as a film editor) in London, we were lucky enough to have a second camera man on site to film the rest of the build. We met Richard through the team at Youth Connect. Richard was making a film about the young apprentices we had hired to complete the school build. He was documenting the start of their new social enterprise called Iron Wood. Richard very kindly agreed to film the rest of the school build.
I am very proud to present a small film promoting Building Trust and documenting our first Moving Schools build. I hope it clearly demonstrates how we operate as an organisation and what we aim to achieve through our humanitarian projects. Many thanks to Matt for editing, filming and creating an amazing film and thanks to Richard for the interviews and additional footage!
Please watch, enjoy and share!
We are hoping to make a longer film of the Moving Schools project to help further promote Building Trust. If you know of anyone who may be interested in collaborating with us please do get in touch.