More from Kéré, housing to attract teachers out to the countryside

This is housing to attract teachers out to the countryside in Gando –from Kéré Architecture-, as well as to promote the use of earth as a sustainable and long material to build. The homes were built as a series of adaptable modules, from a similar size than the traditional huts in the area.


The six homes for teachers and their families, open as a fan from a common starting point in the southern limit of the school. This curvilinear layout it’s not only unique but also reminiscent of the traditional structure in Burkinabé. Three types of housing, each of them based on a module with the same size as a traditional hut, combines different systems to create a more complex design.

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The simplicity of the design and minimal use of the materials in this housing to attract teachers, provokes an easy adaptation for the villagers whenever they need it.

The roofs are canyon vaults built from stabilized earth. This constructive method, never heard before in the area, makes use of local resources and is climatically efficient.

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Alternating roof heights introduces a crescent-shaped opening between the overlaps, serving as a means to ventilate the interior and provide daylight. The culmination of the building work is the tamping of the clay floor to create a smooth, homogeneous surface. The enthusiastic involvement of the people of Gando was the key to the success of this project. Villagers not only gained new skills but also a sense of responsibility, awareness, and sensitivity to both the traditional and the innovative aspects of the building.

This roof is a layer of reinforced concrete poured in situ into a permanent shuttering of compressed stabilized earth blocks (CSEBs). A beam which connects the walls, holds the load from the ceiling in each module. The different heights between buildings -between 100cm and 250cm-, provoke a half moon opening between overlaps to aerate the interior and provide natural light. The culmination of the whole is the tamping of the clay flooring to create a smooth and homogeneous surface.

To protect the building from the growing humidity, the 40cm thick adobe walls are built on a base of concrete and granite stones in situ. The villagers produced between 15000 blocks, each one of 40x20x10cm; between 600 and 1000 per day. As in all his buildings in the area, the collaboration of the villagers was a key point for the success.


With this article with the idea of Francis Kéré of the housing to attract teachers to the rural areas of Gando, we end up the cycle of articles about his constructive method.

An efficient, ecological and sustainable architecture, aware of the surroundings and so needed in the current time of Mundial awareness.

We started with the Pavilion for the Serpentine Gallery, but we’ve also spoken about the Gando Primary School and the Health center


Photographies from Erik-Jan Ouwerkerk