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Global Architecture Platform

Centre d’Éducation FC Advan

Ambonga, Sud Antsahamamy, Madagascar 2016

The Centre d’Education FC Advan is located in a remote rustic area with extreme climatic conditions in the mountainous region of Madagascar. Replacing an improvised training ground on a hilly meadow, FC Advan is newly provided with a football pitch, a drinking water station, a guard house and a school building. This gives children the opportunity to attend a minimum of literacy classes after football training and a communal meal in the evenings.

The project is the combination of local craftsmanship and unique communication. Due to the special situation, the architecture had to be planned and controlled from Zurich. The local builders use shovels and simple building tools, and materials are taken from the surrounding land. The local buildings are small and simple, and the lack of advanced building knowledge and technologies had to be supplemented by drawings that required nothing but the builders’ intelligence and craft.

The resulting proposal uses a simple typology; all the new buildings share a common architectural language, despite their different uses. The local building type—a small, comparatively high-walled brick house—serves as a starting point, modulated by a singular operation: the corners of the buildings are cut diagonally. Ground plans are laid out along symmetrical axes, and the entire design is figuratively communicated with the help of axonometric projections.

Each building element was described step by step, taking as a role model the instructions for building model airplanes. The magic of these do-it-yourself models is that each step is simple, and the complexity is generated by the sum of all the parts.

The result is an iconographic six-sided building type with a large roof that extends over the exposed building corners to provide protection from sun and rain. The building material is the same brick used to construct all the buildings in the Madagascar highlands, made of local clay that is fired in the villages.


Architects: Nele Dechmann Architektur
Dates: Project 2014 – 2015 / Construction 2016
Client: El Lokal Zurich (Viktor Bänziger) and Association Advan (Titus Solohery Andriamananjara)
Builders: Noël Andriamanampisoa / Ampanataovana – Ambbohidratrimo
Budget: 52.000 CHF (165.200.500 Ariary)

All photographs and plans © Nele Dechmann Architektur

02.Dec.2018 2388 views
Nele Dechmann Nele Dechmann

Nele Dechmann (Zurich, 1979) is an architect based in Zurich. She studied at the ETH Zurich and at the Strathclyde University Glasgow. As a practising architect she is interested in combining different logical systems into a new entity. In Berlin she planned the City Library of Köpenick, with archaic solid brickwalls. In rural Madagascar she made a school using local handcraft as a starting point for the design. As a researcher, she made a dissertation about an international network that founded the «Costa Smeralda» in an undeveloped region in Sardinia from scratch. With this place, the „invisible“ network got a place and a physical form. Her architecture and publications have been awarded nationally and internationally (e.g. BDA-Prize Berlin).

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