A4LE Exhibition of School Planning and Architecture Awards - Winner 2017 - Special Citation Award
The One Heart Children’s Village is a masterplanned community for orphaned and abandoned children who are currently living in poverty. It incorporates a home, a primary school, sporting facilities and an eco farm that is set up to feed all children on-site, as well as sell produce to the local community.
The school presents modestly within the site. It's location and limited funding provided challenges, but also a unique opportunity to utilise a local workforce and source local materials into the design, such as hand made bricks. As much as it was crucial for this facility to be embraced as a valuable resource by the local community, it was also important to create an aesthetic that was familiar and welcoming.
The design of the learning spaces included careful consideration of the customs and traditions of the local tribes in order to provide teachers with a typically traditional setting to be able to teach comfortably and effectively, and to shape a welcoming environment for students who may be wholly unfamiliar with this type of facility.
We have seen many of the students come from barely no previous education to ranking among the top performing students in the region.
Through utilising an operable wall, loose furniture and donated laptops, classroom spaces can be used for a variety of classes and group sizes. The incorporation of a story pit provides a twist on the tradition of ‘class under the shade of a tree’, whilst providing an outdoor space for storytelling and intimate learning.
One Heart school has made me realize my potential in life. I have become an academic giant, I play musical instruments, I play netball. I have learnt computer packages which has enlightened my world.