School of Besely Mahajanga, Madasgacar

A school built with local and sustainable building materials

For the construction of a school in a rural village in the Besely region (south-east of Mahajanga/Majunga) in Madagascar, the Écoles du Monde and Enfants de Majunga associations have brought together several supporters and partnerships. VIGUIER has provided its architectural design skills, CRAterre its earth construction skills, while Eiffage Construction Ile de France has provided the structural design of the school and financial support alongside Unibail-Rodamco. The latter had just built with VIGUIER the eponymous tower in the heart of La Défense.

The objective is to build the project without using materials that are becoming rare in the region due to the disappearance of forests (wooden beams, palm leaves). The risk of fire in the dry season also prohibits the use of flammable building materials.

The project therefore prioritized the use of local and sustainable resources, capable of withstanding heavy rains and fires. The choice was made to manufacture raw earth bricks thanks to the clay soil available on site and to the provision of a brick press by Ecoles du Monde to the inhabitants of Besely. Approximately 25,000 bricks were produced for the self-construction of the school by 40 villagers on a foundation of stone rubble filled with lime. The roofing, added to allow natural ventilation, uses corrugated iron. Rainwater is stored to supply toilets and showers for the two classrooms and the teacher’s studio.

The exclusive use of raw earth bricks kept construction costs to a minimum. Although this technique requires a higher investment in labor, this system has allowed the local people to become self-sufficient in construction.

In 2014, upon completion of the construction, 85 students in small classes were able to attend school. Enrollment is now higher at the largest Schools of the World site.

VIGUIER architecture urbanisme paysage

Architecte associé
Jean-Louis Rostaing – Arterre

Consultant construction terre

Type de mission
Conception et suivi des travaux

Associés / Directeurs de projet
Octave Parant
Blin Trincal
Naïara Iparragirre Gonzalez

Chef de projet
Naïara Iparragirre Gonzalez