Moving school by Amadeo Bennetta and Dan LaRossa for Building Trust

These flat-packed schools have been designed for assembly in Southeast Asia by Californian architects Amadeo Bennetta and Dan LaRossa (+ slideshow).

MOVING school by Amadeo Bennetta and Dan LaRossa

Bennetta and LaRossa's project was the winning entry for a competition launched by non-profit charity Building Trust to design a self-assembly educational facility for migrant and refugee communities on the border of Thailand and Burma.

MOVING school by Amadeo Bennetta and Dan LaRossa

The buildings are designed to be taken apart and reassembled several times over, and assembly drawings are available for anyone to download from the Building Trust website. These include cutting dimensions for the steel frame and instructions for both prefabricated elements and on-site construction.

MOVING school by Amadeo Bennetta and Dan LaRossa

They also lays out tips and suggestions for site preparation, time forecast and how many people each stage will need.

MOVING school by Amadeo Bennetta and Dan LaRossa

"The concept of the Moving school project is to provide displaced or informally settled communities with safe, well designed spaces that provide the core functions of both school buildings and community hubs," said Louise Cole, co-founder of Building Trust.

MOVING school by Amadeo Bennetta and Dan LaRossa

The structure comprises a prefabricated steel frame, which sits elevated from the ground to minimise flooding.

MOVING school by Amadeo Bennetta and Dan LaRossa

The steel frame is covered with a white waterproof fabric and clad in locally crafted bamboo panels to allow light to filter inside.

MOVING school by Amadeo Bennetta and Dan LaRossa

The structure features a mono-pitched roof with a veranda, where the user enters the building through sliding bamboo doors.

MOVING school by Amadeo Bennetta and Dan LaRossa

The veranda is shaded to the front of the structure by thin bamboo blinds, which hang off the steel frame. A gap between the main roof and the secondary roof allows for passive ventilation.

MOVING school by Amadeo Bennetta and Dan LaRossa

David and Louise Cole co-founded Building Trust in 2010 to support educational and community-based projects in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas. For this project they followed the lead of home-assembly furniture specialist Ikea, which previously used its expertise in flat-pack design to redesign refugee shelters.

Here is some more information from Building Trust:


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Building Trust recently went one step further in their efforts to make good design accessible to all by following the lead of flat pack furniture specialists IKEA. They have released assembly drawings for their first school building project that supports refugee and migrant communities. The PDF booklet that can be downloaded from their website not only gives the cutting dimensions for the steel frame and instructions for both prefabricated elements and on site construction. It also lays out tips and suggestions for site preparation, time forecast and how many people each stage will need.

MOVING school by Amadeo Bennetta and Dan LaRossa
Primary frame assembly- click for larger image

The MOVING school project was established by Building Trust to create solutions for public and school buildings to serve displaced refugee and migrant communities living on the Thai-Burmese border. The project sparked a design competition which saw the winning design by Amadeo Bennetta and Dan LaRossa built last year. The building design allowed for the school to be built and disassembled and constructed again many times over responding to the lack in land rights for the displaced Burmese communities.

MOVING school by Amadeo Bennetta and Dan LaRossa
Roof installation assembly- click for larger image

The assembly drawings were originally compiled to provide the school and community with a set of instructions for relocating the completed project. However, the demand from numerous other schools for a similar design has resulted in the assembly drawings pack and an online tool kit. Building trust hope the kit will inspire people to build