1st Prize

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Project by: Artha Krisiantara
from Indonesia

 Artha Krisiantara
winning team kaira looro 2023


In South Senegal, where children are struggling against hunger, labor exploitation, and being domestic workers, will be built a friendly and compassionate school, respectful of those who have struggled to survive and still have the passion to seek knowledge. This school is like a beating heart, pumping up the spirit of love and offering new, bright hope to those under its auspices. Education is not only about imparting knowledge but also about creating an environment that supports growth and strong social relationships. Therefore, in this design, the basic form of the school and the programs contained therein were overhauled and repositioned to create a new, flexible volume. The journey starts from the entrance which provides a different experience for each individual who passes through it, depending on the proportions of their body. Those who need food can go to the canteen which has been prepared with food supplies. And those who need books as study material can directly borrow them from the library that has been available in advance. The journey to the classroom through corridors that were previously empty changed into form in undefined shapes, from big to small or from small to large, creating an atmosphere in front of the class that is always different from each other. This corridor is transformed into an ecosystem where children are not sorted by age, into a comfortable open space, with adjustable furniture, creating an atmosphere that invites discussion, sharing, and socialization between students, teachers, and the surrounding community. As soon as they entered the classroom, a warm but relaxed atmosphere greeted them from the walls made of earth and cooled air circulated first through the plants in front of the class and then flowed in through the windows and gaps in the walls that were parallel to their feet until finally it rose upwards releasing air heat through a crack in the ceiling. During breaks, there is an outdoor space where children can relax under the tree and interact, or get to know the ecosystem around them. this outdoor space also has a field that can be used for exercise. After school hours, children can go home, but they can also return at any time to enjoy the facilities outside the classroom which are always open to anyone, even to everyone who does not attend school there. At this school, the goal to be achieved is to create an environment that not only provides education, but also provides emotional support, warmth, and freedom to explore one's potential. Through this design, schools will become places where hunger is quenched before learning begins and children can feel safe, respected, and inspired to tackle their life challenges, gain knowledge and build mutually supportive social relationships.


The material used is a material that has sustainable characteristics providing protection and comfort for activities in various climate and weather conditions in southern Senegal. The structural material made with bamboo as a structural material is not only sustainable but also inexpensive and of course has become a familiar material used by the local community. The wall material is made using reamed earth to provide thermal comfort that can adapt to outdoor conditions. Roofing materials prioritize metal materials which have higher resistance properties and can be easily repaired if damage occurs. The ceiling of the building uses woven bamboo material which can reduce heat coming from the roof.

This design uses a simple construction method that is commonly used without heavy machine tools so that it can be easily carried out, especially by local residents and volunteers. The process starts from cleaning the location and leveling the floor surface. then proceed with the planting of the foundation which is then followed by the construction of rammed earth walls. Then work on a modular structure of bamboo which is placed flanking the walls of the remmed earth. Half of the bamboo is built into the reamed earth walls to increase their sturdiness and reduce the space required. Roof installation begins with the installation of bamboo rafters with a diameter of 10 cm and then continues with the installation of woven bamboo on top. The final process is the installation of corrugated metal sheet roofs.

Team interview

Can you tell us more about you?

Winner kaira looro 2023 Artha Krisiantara My name is Artha, was born in Bali, Indonesia on August 1998. I am a young architect who completed my bachelor of architecture education in 2020 at Warmadewa University, Bali. I currently work as a senior architect in an architectural company that focuses on hospitality projects and several urban projects and social. I usually fill my free time with listening to music and if there is an opportunity sometimes I like to go out to explore architecture and capture it in the art form of photography. What was your feeling when you knew you were the winners of the competition? When I received the news, I was browsing through Instagram during my work break after a quite exhausting half-day. During that exploration, I accidentally came across Kaira Looro's first post of the day. In my heart, I wondered to myself before reading the caption of the post, "Is this an announcement of the winners? Does the post featuring my work on the first slide indicate that I am the first-place winner?" Without dwelling too long on those thoughts, I tried to read the caption of the post, and when I saw my name mentioned as the first-place winner, it felt truly spectacular and incredibly blessed.

Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?

While designing this project, I put a lot of emphasis on the functional depth aspect by highlighting the background to this year's Kaira Looro competition, which emphasizes the right to education as a fundamental human right. more than 600 million children worldwide do not get guarantees for these rights, due to economic conditions, fragile politics, health conditions, conflicts, disasters nature, stereotypes and socio-cultural prejudices. Such conditions can certainly have a negative impact on children in the future. I firmly believe that at the age of children, imagination must be valued and nurtured in the right way. Therefore, in designing this school, I created an environment that allows children to express themselves freely regardless of time, background or age through various expressive spaces. I emphasize the scale and proportions of the fa├žade, which is also ergonomic for children, to foster a strong sense of ownership and establish a visually and sensory-stimulating environment. In my design, a school is not just a classroom where students meet their teachers during school hours. however, it is also a building that provides a comfortable and safe haven for children to learn and grow socially, under one roof that transcends the boundaries of space and time. I put functionality first in this design, to ensure that every element supports optimal learning and can develop children's potential.

The aim of the competition is to create an architecture intended to promote education rights. How important is this theme today? According to you, what could be the role of architecture to promote this issue?

I believe that promoting the right to education is incredibly important in today's context. Education is a fundamental human right and a key to building an inclusive and sustainable society. However, there are still many areas in the world that face challenges in providing adequate access to education for all individuals, especially in regions with fragile socio-economic conditions, conflicts, natural disasters, and cultural stereotypes. In this regard, architecture can play a crucial role in promoting the right to education. By designing inclusive and inspiring school buildings, we can create environments that enable children to learn comfortably and safely. Good architecture has the ability to spark curiosity, creativity, and a passion for learning in children. Furthermore, effective spatial planning can maximize resource utilization and ensure the sustainability of educational infrastructure. Additionally, architecture can contribute to creating a learning community that involves parents, teachers, and the local community. Well-designed spaces can facilitate interaction and collaboration among all stakeholders involved in education. Thus, through appropriate architectural design, we can address the issue of the right to education and materialize it in the form of adequate learning environments. Architecture that prioritizes accessibility, inclusivity, and quality can make a significant contribution to promoting equitable and quality education for all individuals, strengthening communities, and fostering positive development in the future.

Can you briefly explain the concept of your project and which is the relationship between it and the education?

The concept of this project is to build a school in South Senegal that is friendly and full of love for children struggling against hunger, poverty and other life challenges. By paying attention to children as the main age of its users, in my opinion, the architecture that must be created is sensory architecture and to maximize the purpose of its function, this architecture must also be able to transcend the limitations of space and time. The sensory architecture in this work is reflected in the application of forms that are not far from the scale and proportions of children. Roofs and ceilings that have different heights from low to high or vice versa and stretch lengthwise allow those inside to have the opportunity to discuss feelings through the touch of life from the architecture and those outside will have a sense of curiosity because of the interesting shapes that are produced. Transgression of space and time constraints. this design is not only focused on imparting knowledge, but also creating an environment that supports growth and strong social relationships. In this design, I changed and repositioned the basic form of the school and the programs contained therein, to produce a new, more flexible volume. With this approach, primary school will become more than just formal learning spaces. This will be a space that can be used by everyone in the community, such as a gathering place, a playroom, or a place for social and cultural activities. Thus, the architecture of this primary school does not only live during school hours but also provides benefits and becomes a source of knowledge intake through various activities outside of school hours.

How did the material choice affect your design?

The material choices I use, namely local bamboo, tin roofing, and reamed earth, have had a significant impact on my design. The local bamboo material provides strong structural strength, durability and economy, while maintaining a natural aesthetic that harmonizes with the surrounding environment. The use of local bamboo also supports environmental sustainability, because bamboo can grow quickly and is a renewable resource. Besides that, the use of bamboo as a pole can also produce sound or sound when the wind blows or when children stomp it gently. These sounds can provide an additional and exciting sensory element for children to explore their school environment. Furthermore, tin roofs provide strong and long-lasting protection against extreme weather. The reliability of tin roofs will help keep the school operational, while protecting students and staff from rain, hot sun, or other adverse weather conditions by requiring less intense maintenance. Then reamed earth provides good thermal stability and can help maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. the warmth generated by touching this material will produce a special sensation in the minds of children. This sensation stimulates the sense of touch and provides a haptic experience that is different from other building materials. In addition, the collaboration of this material with bamboo will create a very shady and natural visual experience even though it is in an architecture which incidentally is man-made.

Has your project been inspired by anything-in particular, by some project in developing countries or past projects of Kaira Looro?

My project was inspired by the architectural works of Francis Kere and Kengo Kuma, as well as from previous years' kaira looro winners. Francis Kere is known for his focused approach to sustainability, utilization of local resources, and community participation in the design and development process. I was inspired by how he integrates culture, environment and community needs with various functions. In addition, Kengo Kuma is also a source of inspiration for my projects. His work "Yangcheng Lake Tourist Transportation Center in China" became a work that really inspired me. Forming a scale of proportions and composition that can provide a sensory touch for children. And the work of last year's kaira looro winners has helped me get closer to what is happening to children in Senegal through an architectural perspective.

How your idea of architecture can improve education in developing countries, and how the local community concerned could perceive this architecture?

First, by designing inspiring study spaces, as an architect I can create an atmosphere that encourages students to feel motivated and inspired in learning. The use of creative designs, adequate natural lighting, and flexible and comfortable room arrangements can affect a positive learning atmosphere which will indirectly affect the quality of education. Also, an inclusive architecture is important. Through good spatial planning, we can ensure that the learning environment is accessible to all individuals without barriers. Furthermore, it is important to involve the local community in the design process. By paying attention to people's needs, culture and aspirations, architecture becomes more relevant and connected to their social and cultural context. Through community participation, they can feel a sense of belonging and strengthen emotional bonds with the school building, which in turn increases the motivation and sustainability of the education program. By applying architectural ideas that support effective, inclusive, and locally engaged learning, we can improve education in developing countries. Architecture designed in this way has the potential to increase student motivation, facilitate better learning, and help create a society that is more aware of the importance of education as the key to a better future."

From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of architects in dealing with complex issues such as children rights or architectures in developing countries?

From my point of view as an architect, the responsibility for dealing with complex issues such as children's rights or architecture in developing countries includes several things. First, it needs in-depth understanding through research and understanding of the local context involving culture and related social issues. Second, collaboration with related parties such as local communities, non-governmental organizations, and related experts to integrate their perspectives and needs in the planning and design process. Furthermore, designing with a sustainable approach, considering resource efficiency, using technology according to local conditions, and paying attention to environmentally friendly building materials. Community empowerment is also important, involving the active participation of the community in the planning and design process so that architectural solutions are better suited to their needs. Finally, architects can act as advocates through education and awareness programs to increase public understanding of these issues. Your competition registration fee is a donation to the no profit organization Balouo Salo that helps people in disadvantage area of Senegal. How it has affected you approach to the competition? For me this is the most beneficial way to give alms, as well as contribute to social development. Knowing that the competition's entry fee will support Balouo Salo, who is dedicated to helping disadvantaged communities in remote areas of Senegal, strengthens my awareness of the importance of architecture's contribution to humanity. This approach has driven me to focus more on providing useful and relevant architectural solutions to communities in need. This is my second time participating in this competition. Honestly, that's one of the things that motivated me the most to enter this competition more than once.

Your prize is an internship at Kengo Kuma & Associates, one of the most prestigious architecture studios in the world. Can you express your feelings about it?

I am extremely excited and honored for the opportunity to undertake an internship at Kengo Kuma & Associates, one of the world's leading architectural studios. This is an extraordinary honor and a great depository honor. As an architect, Kengo Kuma has been a great source of inspiration for me and not only on this project. Her extraordinary works demonstrate a virtuosity for beauty that combines nature, cultural traditions and technological innovation. The perception of him and working in his studio was a wonderful opportunity to broaden my knowledge and skills in world architecture. I am excited to be involved in exciting and diverse projects under the guidance of Kengo Kuma & Associates. I hope that this internship will give me the opportunity to learn from a talented and experienced team and be involved in the process of designing and building an iconic project.

The aim of the competition is also to give professional opportunities to young architects, and we wish your team the best achievements for your career. How do you think you will be in next 10 years? According to you, how much will this award affect your future?

I can't predict exactly what I'll be like in 10 years. However, I have strong aspirations to continue to grow and develop as a professional architect. I am sure that this award will have a significant impact on my future. Undertaking an internship at a leading architectural studio such as Kengo Kuma & Associates will give me invaluable experience and hands-on insight into architectural practice that so far I have only learned through the medium. I will learn from experienced professionals, engage in interesting projects, and expand my network in the architectural industry. However, it is very important for me to stay committed to the learning journey and continue to develop my skills and knowledge. As a young architect, this award is only the beginning of my career journey, and I believe that hard work, dedication and continuous improvement will be the most influential factors in achieving success in the future. As such, while this award has provided a tremendous boost to my career, I am aware that my future accomplishments will depend largely on my own commitment and hard work. I look forward to continuing to build a meaningful career and make a positive contribution to architecture.

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