Probably every Madagascan boy’s dream is to be a professional soccer player. The Swiss client ‘El Lokal’, a trendy bar in Zurich, supports youngsters of FC Advan in Ambanja, Madagascar, get a step closer with the new education center.
Previously, the team of ‘El Lokal’ supported the football team in Madagascar with sports equipment, but then felt that they need a boost for the children’s sports ‘careers’ and the community.
Madagascar, the world’s fourth largest island, about four hundred kilometers off the coast of East Africa, has one of the richest biodiversities and unique wildlife (which everyone knows since the movie Madagascar) but is a rather poor country. Almost two-thirds of the population live below the poverty line.
When Swiss architect Nele Dechmann got the opportunity to design an education center for football-loving children, she took on the challenge of designing and constructing a school building, a football pitch, several houses, and a water station in the rural and secluded highlands of Madagascar.
Due to the extreme climatic conditions on the African island, the entire project had to be masterminded, conceptualized, and planned in detail in Switzerland. From afar, the architect collaborated closely with local craftsmen and workers to get the project off the ground.
In step-by-step drawings, the building elements were explained and broken down to the simplest step. A simple, rudimentary typology based on known local, small, high-walled brick houses was applied to all the buildings of the project. The design is modulated and corners were diagonally cut. This resulted in an iconographic six-sided building type.
All of the building use brick as a building material. The bricks are hand-crafted, locally produced and fired with soil and clay from the villages. Materials and workers’ skills lacked sophistication which asked for ingenuity and unique communication in the building process.
The FC Advan’s education center for children to play and train for their future championships is a place where they can also spend time to relax and learn. The school building offers rooms under the large roof that will protect from the sun and the rain to study, read, and write. And it is large enough for a place to come together and share a meal.
Although the Madagascar National Team has only qualified for the very first time in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, hopes are high for the FC Advan children with their new education center to score high in the future.
Source: photos are courtesy of Nele Dechmann Architektur.