Al khan al ahmar school

Jerusalem / Israel / 2014

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Jahalin Bedouins are organized in 4 camps and 300 families, settled in the desert area in the North of National Route n.1, which links Jerusalem and Jericho. The area is of great strategic interest for Israeli Government, as it divides the West Bank in separated areas and crosses passages between Hebron and Jerusalem; it is classified as a C area. Al Khan Al Ahmar community is composed of 60 families, corresponding to around 600 inhabitants.
In the area there are big problems of water scarcity and pollution, due to a near chemical plant, which has been accused of low control of its atmospheric ejections.
Children situation is extremely critical, particularly for their un-respected right to education due to the fact that they had not an adequate school building into the camps, and their critical health conditions due to the poor hygienic conditions and the lack of primary medical assistance.
The Palestinian National Authority has required the presence of a proper school building to send teachers in the area, but building activity was suspended in 2007 for funds absence.
Three years after the construction of the school of tyres the community asked new spaces for lessons.



Architectural Project


For this new phase of the project of Al Khan Al Ahmar school the aim was to build the new spaces the community needed without increasing the volume of the existing buildings. Into the boundary of the school there was a building made of simple metal sheets, that had been used before the construction of the tyres’ school. So it was possible to build two classrooms in place of this existing building.
The chosen building technique was the straw bale wall, which is made of a wooden structure filled with non-load-bearing straw bales that constitute the wall. The existing concrete floor was used as a base layer for the new construction. Over this base a level of earthbags was used to ensure a good protection of the straw from the humidity and water. The advantages of using straw as a building material are different: starting from its great capacity of thermal and acoustic insulation, its low cost, its facility and velocity of use in building walls and roofs’ covering; till the fact it doesn’t need special skilled manpower. Moreover the fact that it comes from the wasted part of the plant that is anyway produced for other functions, but it has now no further use, implies that its use for construction closes its life cycle.
The building site was covered with a shelter made of a simple metal sheet that after the building was finished remained to form a double layer of the roof for ventilation.

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    Jahalin Bedouins are organized in 4 camps and 300 families, settled in the desert area in the North of National Route n.1, which links Jerusalem and Jericho. The area is of great strategic interest for Israeli Government, as it divides the West Bank in separated areas and crosses passages between Hebron and Jerusalem; it is classified as a C area. Al Khan Al Ahmar community is composed of 60 families, corresponding to around 600 inhabitants.In the area there are big problems of water scarcity...

    Project details
    • Year 2014
    • Work finished in 2014
    • Client Vento di Terra Onlus
    • Cost 35.000 $
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Schools/Institutes
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