Laafi Nursery school



Koudougou (BF) 





Surface area

305 m2


Association LAAFI


Ferran Grau, Jordi Arboix


Antoni Espona (engineering)


Milena Villalba, Albert Faus

The nursery school is part of the LE VILLAGE LAAFI cultural centre. This facility brings together most of the activities that the LAAFI association has been carrying out since 2001. It promotes education, training, artistic production and cultural exchange.

In the lower area of the plot of land that the Koudougou town council donated to the LAAFI association, there used to be a neighbourhood rubbish dump where domestic waste had been accumulating for years. A group of French volunteers and Burkinabe members of LAAFI cleaned up the site before work began.

The bulk of the construction work was carried out by a team of young masonry apprentices aged between 18 and 25, all of them neighbours of the cultural centre. A group of women from a nearby village were responsible for plastering the interior of the adobe walls with clay plaster by hand. 100% of the building materials are local and the vast majority are produced in Burkina Faso and not imported. In this sense, the stone quarry from which the thousands of laterite blocks for the facades have been extracted is only about 4km from the plot, and the land for the making of the adobe bricks is only 500 metres away.

The school follows the basic criteria developed in the realisation of the VILLAGE since 2009. The layout of the volumes corresponds to the idea of creating courtyards between buildings with a size proportional to the programme to be developed, as in the traditional houses in the villages of the region. The classrooms are arranged along the east-west axis, exposing as little of the façade as possible to the violent easterly storms. They are moved to the east of the site, freeing up the sheltered space to the west where evergreen acacias are planted to provide year-round shade for the play area and communal activities. 

In terms of construction, two proposals are experimented with that arise from the reinterpretation of the vernacular building tradition, trying to improve it with the use of higher-performance materials. In the classrooms there is a ventilated façade with a stone exterior wall and an interior load-bearing adobe wall, a roof of reinforced concrete joists and slabs in which openwork ceramic vessels are embedded to allow the hot air layer that accumulates under the roof to escape. A shade is provided above the building, an umbrella-sunshade, in the form of a double ventilated roof. In the administration building, a simple load-bearing wall of laterite masonry carries an interior roof of floorboards made from the wooden planks used in the formwork of the building site and a greater thickness of earth in empty cement sacks.

The concrete plinth, the reddish stone façades and the upper metal roof unify all the constructions in the complex.


Project exhibited at the College of Architects of Catalonia_Architecture Congress 2016.

Highlighted work at the 1st International Catalan Architecture Exhibit organised by the Catalonian Association of Architects  (2015). 

Winning project in the Call for Cooperation Grants of the College of Architects of Catalonia 2012.