An awarded architectural competition that was held by Misr El Kheir charity foundation, the main concept of the project was to design a low cost school prototype to be built in the most poor areas of Egypt where children don›t have any school in their villages.
The normal rate of school building in Egypt is 300,000 Egp per classroom including facilities, fence and landscape costs. The principal requirement of the foundation was to reach the price of 100,000 per classroom to be able to build as much as possible of schools by reducing number of educational facilities to the minimum and getting innovative ideas of architectural firms.
The concept of the design is to simulate as much as possible the surrounding environment in desert areas in Egypt which suffers hard weather conditions and very high temperature. We proposed to make the school building of the most familiar and economic structural system in such regions which is (bearing walls and arched structures), and covered one way concrete slab. The structural module was a 3X5.5 meters width room which can form an administration room or a half of a classroom with middle large arch or a third or quarter of labs and multi-purpose hall. The supports of the 5.5 meter arches (Abutment) were extended outside the rooms to restrain the thrust action, working as deep vertical sun breakers and an architectural elements simulating the surrounding environment.
For the masonry works we proposed to make trainings for local masons (as an added value for the local to improve their competency of building leveled, grooved brickwork so that it would be exposed in facades.
For achieving sustainability, some aspects of were applied, such as horizontal and vertical sun breakers, cross ventilation and recycled water for toilets› flush and irrigation.
An innovative idea that came from India called (a hole in the wall) were applied in the project, by fitting a computer in an opening in the corridor for public use to improve students› competences in research and reading.