METI handmade school is a primary school located in Rudrapur, Dinajpur, northern Bangladesh. The school is designed for cooperation between two architects Anna Heringer and Eike Roswag.
The school is built with the help of local craftsmen and building materials using traditional materials. The main ingredients used to build this school are clay and bamboo. The school building includes a sustainable building and was awarded the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2007.
The history of the METI handmade School began when Anna Heringer of Bavaria in southern Germany visited Bangladesh to work as a volunteer with Bangladesh’s national organization Dipshikha. The organization helps small people in education, agriculture, and skills development.
While studying architecture in Linz, Austria, Anna returns to Rudrapur with three friends from the same campus and then proposes making Modern Education and Training (METI) through Dipshikha program.
In short, the proposal was approved and Anna Heringer began conducting a survey for her project in 2004. Afterwards, She assisted her colleague, Eike Roswag, beginning to develop a design based on regional construction methods and local materials using a new approach to structural and efficient integrity.
The draft was then manifested in the METI Handmade School Bangladesh building. The main objective of this project is to promote the quality of life of rural communities by involving local communities to develop their own knowledge and skills in order to utilize existing resources.
Anna and Eike try hard to involve local craftsman skills. They help the craftsmen in the process of improvement and teach new techniques that can be used to change the general standard of rural homes.
METI Handmade School uses the Damp proof course (DPC) method of making walls and floors. This method is needed to control the humidity so as not to penetrate the interior space.
The ground floor of this school is made using techniques similar to cob walling. Wet soil and straw mixed with hemp made with the help of cow and buffalo power. The dough is then stacked on the foundation to a height of 65cm per layer.
The ground-floor classrooms are covered with earth-made walls, while the upper floors have bamboo walls that provide light rays and natural ventilation. Bamboo is arranged vertically connected to the horizontal plane to create a strong decorative effect, coupled with the sunlight that is perfecting it.
In connection with the use of bamboo, the progress made is to use it to create a plated ceiling of bamboo sticks, bamboo planks, and soil. About first-floor walls and roofs, both made of beam frames (four layered bamboo stems) and vertically and diagonally arranged columns.
At Rudrapur, the traditional local materials used for building materials are bamboo as a support pole, ground for walls and foundations, straw for roofs, and hemp ropes to bind the buildings. These materials are also used to build the school. Natural materials such as clay and straw combined with light elements such as bamboo sticks and hemp creates an eco-friendly foundation.
METI’s philosophy is to learn happily. Teachers help children to develop their own potential and use it in a creative and responsible way. The building reflects these ideas through materials and techniques used during the development process, as well as architectural design.
Although not everyone can apply this building model, but at least this can be an example as a new way to make building construction in a sustainable way. Not only produce beautiful buildings, but also meaningful and friendly to the environment. Not just as an example model of school buildings, private homes can imitate the style of construction of this METI Handmade School building.