LEAF Awards 2013 Winner: Takara School
Kaunitz Yeung Architecture, Takara School, Takara, Efate Island, Vanutau
In Vanuatu, the demand for access to education is growing due to population growth and increased school attendance. The current centralised delivery of education infrastructure cannot keep pace with demand. The existing archetype concrete buildings are costly and time consuming to build and difficult to repair following the regular earthquakes and cyclones. In 2011, as part of a review of the delivery of school infrastructure, a need was identified to develop an alternative archetype. In 2011, the commission was made to develop a ‘hybrid’ standard classroom that would be applicable across Vanuatu. The aim was to increase the use of local materials and skills whilst meeting western construction standards. Following consultation with all levels of the ministry a design was developed and a demonstration built at Takara Primary School, North Efate, Vanuatu.
Client: Ministry of Education, Republic of Vanuatu
Start date: June 2011
Completion date: July 2012
A prototype constructed entirely by the local community, this building is a credible hybrid alternative to the standard existing archetype concrete buildings, which are costly and time consuming to build and difficult to repair following the regular earthquakes and cyclones affecting Vanuatu. It demonstrates an intelligent use of local materials and labour while meeting western construction standards. Instead of materials that are costly to transport, the design is centred around a locally sourced timber portal frame comprises the main structure, which takes its cues from the local vernacular, articulating posts and using scissor trusses and is strong and durable.