La Classe Rouge: sustainable architecture for Niger schools exhibited in Venice
From 20 May to 26 November 2023 CISP is in Venice, at the European Cultural Centre's exhibition TIME SPACE EXISTENCE, set during the 2023 Architecture Biennale. CISP is presenting the prototype of Classe Rouge, developed and built in collaboration with ACTA – Action through architecture in Niger. The exhibition can be visited at the Marinaressa Gardens, where ACTA have built a section of the parabolic arch, and at Palazzo Mora, where pictures of the classroom built in Niger are shown and the construction techniques are explained.
The Classe Rouge is a prototype of Classroom, proposed as a solution to the lack of school buildings in Niger, combining the adoption of locally available materials and the efficiency of the parabolic geometry to create a sustainable, bio-climatic and durable classroom. Niger has the higher population growth rate in the world, with the number of children increasing by 750.000 per year, requiring enormous efforts to ensure access to education for all. Quality school infrastructure plays a critical role in guaranteeing a safe learning environment for children.
The Classe Rouge is designed to be built faster, easier and at a lower cost than the standard masonry classrooms built in Niger to date. The prototype has the geometry of a Parabola, as a self-supporting vault which does not require unsustainable and costly materials such as metal or wood to be built. It was chosen for its characteristics of resistance, local acceptance, durability and efficiency in terms of costs, speed of construction and indoor climate comfort. The prototype refers to the concepts of bioclimatic architecture, using local expertise and locally available sustainable materials such as earth bricks, to create a thermally efficient environment.
Since 2012, CISP has promoted the adoption of improved earthen construction techniques to provide quality and durable housing solutions, the recovery of traditional earthen construction methods, knowledge transfer from the elderly to the young people and job creation and promotion of heritage. The traditional earthen architecture in the Sahel region is a core aspect of diverse cultural identities and can play a crucial role in sustainable development. CISP has realized Social Housing interventions in earthen architecture, including for refugees, returnees, and displaced people in Niger, and developed prototypes in improved earthen architecture for private and public constructions. CISP have mapped Historical and Architectural buildings in crisis context and promoted the rehabilitation of historical public and private buildings, including the historical center of Agadez in Niger.