Designers Amadeo Bennetta and Daniel LaRossa, both from Berkeley (California) won the School 4 Burma Design Competition organized by Building Trust International . The winning design, for a modular school for migrant and refugee children in the Thai-Burma border town of Mae Sot, beat entries from all over the world as the competition generated progressive, contemporary design solutions.
The winning team submitted a proposal that expressed a high level of flexibility responding well to the brief. The design utilizes an adaptable framework that balances prefabricated structural elements with locally crafted, modular, bamboo panels. By creating entirely flat-packed components, BURMA [RE]FRAMED can be rapidly reassembled from a flat bed truck into a courtyard school, a single building or even as independent multi-use units. By reconsidering the restrictions of land ownership into an opportunity for flexible community space, BURMA [RE]FRAMED acts as a local/global bridge providing at-risk communities with a physical space around which the population can learn, grow and thrive.
As the Building Trust International project now moves from conception to the planning and fabrication phase, the charity plans to work closely with the Kwe Ka Baung School, community leaders and other aid agencies in the area to ensure that the development of the design continues with their input. They have the funding to develop the winning design, but are now also looking for funding partners for a number of entries that they believe could be used to help other schools in the region. The competition has been a great success and highlights the key role that architects and designers have in tackling global issues.
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