Elementary School

Primary School Tanouan Ibi / LEVS architecten

  • Architect:LEVS architecten
  • Location:Tanouan Ibi, Mali
  • Date:2013
  • Area:360,0 sqm
  • Client:Stichting Dogon Onderwijs SDO


Primary School Tanouan Ibi – Description from LEVS architecten.

Primary School Tanouan Ibi is a sustainable building which stands at the edge of a village in the vast plain of the Dogon country in Mali. The school consists of three 7 x 9 meters classrooms for in total 180 pupils, a principal’s office, a depot and a sanitary building. In the evening the school is used for teaching women.

Courtesy of LEVS architecten
Courtesy of LEVS architecten

The design is inspired by the architecture tradition of the Dogon. The building has a porch on each side as structural support for the impressive barrel vault, of 7 meters. The porches also provide the necessary shade for the public. With their stone benches, they establishe a meaningful place for the elders of the village community.

Courtesy of LEVS architecten
Courtesy of LEVS architecten


The school is made out of Hydraulic Compressed Earth Blocks (HCEB). These “bricks” are non-fired. They are produced using the soil on site which reduces production costs and the environmental degradation immensely. They are not only sustainable but can also withstand the climate of both hot sunlight and heavy rainfall much better than the traditional clay buildings.

The interior climate created is significantly cooler, too. The continuity of using the HCEB-bricks for floor, walls and roof and the color of these bricks leads to a supple integration of the building into the environment. This corresponds to the way how the Dogon villages fit into the landscape.

Courtesy of LEVS architecten
Courtesy of LEVS architecten



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