A preschool project for Aït Ahmed, Marocco

One year ago, Tommaso Bisogno graduated at our International Master of Architecture programme, KU Leuven. As a master dissertation project and within the Streetscape Territories research framework, based on an collaboration with BC Architects and Goodplanet Foundation, he developed an architectural intervention. He provided Aït Ahmed, a small rural village in Marocco, with a brand new pre-school building, though employing traditional building techniques and rethinking the relation of the project with the surrounding landscape. The project actively engaged with a local community to plan, prepare and build this facility. The project, a cluster of pavilions in a walled garden, also engages with the surrounding agricultural landscape, while at the same time embracing the needed levels of territorial inclusion.

Even though Tommaso graduated successfully last year (2016-2017), it seems like for him the project only finished a few months ago, when children appropriated the school and gardens. Check out the video below! Congratulations Tommaso!


“The Preschool of Aït Ahmed integrates architectural and landscape design, incorporating community dynamics, bioclimatics and seeks to rethink vernacular styles for the region.

In need of educational infrastructure, Goodplanet Foundation aimed to install a preschool with bioclimatic functioning, as an extension to the existing school building.

The building is inspired by a new vernacular, based on local typologies, materials and techniques, though creating a contemporary image, while integrating performant bio-climatic functioning and earthquake proof design.

The preschool is implemented at the highest level of the compound, and gives way to a landscaped strip of playground area with benches and swings, going down the compound. The playground strip creates zones of open play area between strip and compound wall: football area, outside class area, playground area for small kids, playground area for bigger kids.

The preschool itself is built in a pentagonal shape to open up space outside in relation to the rectangular compound walls and to create round space inside which can support alternative teaching techniques such as round table teaching. The area is known for lime production, as well as nature stone, resulting in the choice for lime mortared stone masonry. The roof is made of tadelakt of lime on a base of earth-lime. The interior finishing is made of polished nouss-nouss, a half-half of earth and lime to create a breathable interior plaster which diffuses indirect sunlight. The southwest façade has a cavity wall for insulation and a big thermal mass, making the building cool during the day, but warmer through the night until the morning. The northwest to southeast façades have window openings with diagonal reveals to let in a maximum of sunlight. The building is made conform the earthquake norms of Morocco, with concrete columns next to façade openings.”

Tommaso Bisogno, May 2018



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