Winner: Education project of the year 2023. Architecture project of the year 2023. Architectural Pioneering Consultants in association with Wolfgang Rossbauer has designed the Simba Vision Montessori School in Ngabobo Village, Tanzania.
The Simba Vision School provides a unique spatial solution for Montessori teaching in rural northern Tanzania.
Rather than following a traditional school design brief, the spaces developed by the architects and users were designed around the idea of 'Montessori patterns' – spatial ideas derived from the principles of Montessori education.
The school not only sits amidst a vast mountainous backdrop, but Maasai tribes, who are slowly shifting their traditional, semi-nomadic lifestyle to permanent settlements with irrigated agriculture and motorised transportation, form the school’s clientele.
The architecture supports the students undergoing a change of lifestyle by incorporating Montessori design principles.
Judges comments: "The design of this project is both a radical proposition and a template for schools of this type. The clear, structured order of the plan feels generous and intuitive in access and circulation."
"The simple arrangement of rooms is well-proportioned while the principle of disconnecting the walls and roof creates a low-cost and passive ventilation solution.
"An inventive and community-engaged approach to materials is both sensitive and appropriate, which results in a building that feels robust yet welcoming and is clearly of its place.
"Addressing some of the major challenges of our time, this exemplary building manages to do the most with the least. A truly sustainable project with a very limited budget, the building provides a much-needed educational space for the local community that is responsive to people, place and purpose.
"The Dezeen Awards judging criteria are "beautiful", "innovative" and "beneficial", and this project exemplifies all three of these qualities like no other."