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Bringing Burundi Vernacular Elements to a Library for the Deaf

Part of a future school for deaf children, the Library of Muyinga grew out of two months of field research in and around Muyinga, Burundi, that BC Architects and Studies conducted to gain insight into local vernacular forms, materials, and construction techniques. The city's first library was built with a roof of baked clay tiles buttressed by closely spaced columns of unbaked compressed-earth blocks. In the double-height reading room, which has perforated walls for cross-ventilation and a large hammock of sisal rope, the spaces between these columns are filled in with glass doors that can be shuttered completely with wooden coverings or left open, connecting the library directly to the school's adjacent square.

The rest of the structure is comprised of a traditional Burundian "hallway porch," which the firm describes as a "social space, constitutive for community relations." Protected from the elements but left an open-air corridor, the porch section will "continue as the main circulation and access space for the future school." Head to Elle Decor South Africa for more on the project.

ҟ The Library of Muyinga - Live Design. Transform Life. [Elle Decor South Africa]