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Africa Weekly\Big Picture

Students' project has a touch of class

By Pan Mengqi | China Daily Africa | Updated: 2017-12-01 08:35

At a primary school in the southwestern China county of Pu'an, Guizhou province, eight university students from Poland and Norway have designed and built a canteen and library for the ethnic minority children.

Lian Meng Primary School, in the center of Pu'an, has 200 ethnic minority students, the majority of whom are Buyi (or Bouyei).

The European students built the project "In 'n' Out Village", designed by Agnieszka Kolacinska and Jakub Andrzejewski, on the grounds of the school.

Kolacinska and Andrzejewski are architecture students at the Warsaw University of Technology in Poland. The project, which took Kolacinska and Andrzejewski and six students from the Oslo School of Architecture a month to finish, is the winning project of the 2017 120 Hours architecture competition."

Kolacinska and Andrzejewski's design used local materials - woods and cotton fabrics - to construct the main body of the "building", consisting of six wooden huts. Each hut has the bare necessities - a roof, a table and a place to keep books.

Students' project has a touch of class

Kolacinska says the huts shift their function according to the users' position. If the children are eating, they face each other. If they are reading, they face the surrounding garden.

"The proposal has a clear and well-represented idea, expressing strong spatial and compositional sensibility." says Tran Kinh Manh, one of the judges at the 120 Hours competition.

The design was chosen from entries put forward by more than 1,500 teams from 79 countries. The building will host a canteen and library. The design of the building, which overlooks a valley, is in keeping with the region's semitropical climate.

The 120 Hours competition is an annual international architecture event created for and by students. Participants are asked to design a thematic project within 120 hours. The competition was founded at the Oslo School of Architecture in 2010 and has since grown to become the largest architecture students' competition in the world. For the first time, the winning project has been constructed on a real site.

 Students' project has a touch of class

Lian Meng Primary School students play in the huts newly built by Norwegian and Polish students.

Students' project has a touch of class

 Students' project has a touch of class

Top: Children play with student Bjornar Andersen, one of the building team members from the Oslo school of Architecture. Above: Students from Lian Meng Primary School eat in their new "canteen".

(China Daily Africa Weekly 12/01/2017 page4)

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