Headergrafik | Anna Heringer

photo by Kurt Hoerbst

sketch West elevation

West - photo by Kurt Hoerbst

Groundfloor: classroom. In Bangladesh it is tradition to sit on the floor. Through the bolt-hole in the back the children can enter the caves - photo by Kurt Hoerbst

First floor: On the upper floor are three classrooms, with two of them combined into an open multifunctional hall. - photo by Kurt Hoerbst

Ground floor: on the lower floor are three classrooms with caves - photo by Kurt Hoerbst

Caves - photo by Kurt Hoerbst

What kind of spaces do schildren like? As a kid I loved to hide in bushes or to build caves with textiles or branches and I also loved to climb trees to enjoy the view and dreamt of a house high up in the crown... Photo tower: Kristin Boekhoff, right: Kur

In the afternoon "school construction" was part of the curriculum. The METI students were helping to build their own school - preparing the lintel for example or drying the sand. In the end every student subscribed with the name on the front doors of the

Photos: Left: Construction team -

At night. There is hardly electricity supply in Rudrapur. But the building is designed in order to be independed from electricity through an optimazed natural ventilation and lightening during day-time. Photo: Kurt Hoerbst

Bamboo-construction: the bamboo trusses were prefabricated and then lifted on top of the ground floor. Photo: Kurt Hoerbst

There was no crane to lift the trusses - but a lot of people to help. The windows were plastered with a mixture of sand and lime. The walls remained with the rough surface of the cob wall as we wanted to show that the ingredients of the wall are nothing b

Mixing place; 400 tonnes of wet loam were only moved by human labour and cows/ buffaloes. Instead of weel-barrows the Bangladeshi balance the load in baskets on top of the head. Photo: Kurt Hoerbst

The mixing-maschine. Tho use cows and water buffaloes for mixing is the first step of industrialisation. In general the mud is mixed by people only which takes much longer time. Photo: Kurt Hoerbst

METI school 
Architects: Anna Heringer, Eike Roswag  
Design/ Concept: Anna Heringer 
Technical Planning: Eike Roswag 

"The final result (...) is a building that creates beautiful, meaningful and humane collective spaces for learning, so enriching the lives of the children it serves." [Jury of The Aga Khan Award for Architecture 10th Circle] 

Rudrapur lies in the north of the most densely populated country on the earth. Poverty and the lack of an infrastructure drive many people from the countryside into the cities. The local NGO Dipshikha attempts to follow new paths with its development programme: the intention is to give the rural population perspectives and to help people learn about the value of the village in all its complexity. Part of this is a special school concept that instils in the children self-confidence and independence with the aim of strengthening their sense of identity. 

"The design solution may not be replicable in other parts of the Islamic world, as local conditions vary, but the approach - which allows new design solutions to emerge from an in-depth knowledge of the local context and ways of building - clearly provides a fresh and hopeful model for sustainable building globally." [Jury of The Aga Khan Award for Architecture 10th Circle] 

"Being a Bangladeshi it really makes us proud when we see that we have got so many 'unique' materials and contexts to work with... and your work was particularly inspiring!!! so next autumn... it would to great if I get the opportunity to work with you." [Zaqiul, student of architecture, Dhaka, Bangladesh] 

"It was good to do tests and experiments together before starting the real construction, so we could understand it although we did not know the language. And everybody learnt a lot from each other. I learned how to build strong walls, how to use measurement tools and the foreigners learnt, that the best mixing machines are water buffalos." [Suresh, loam worker, Rudrapur, Bangladesh] 

"Dear Anna-Didimoni, Hello, how are you? And what are you doing? I hope you are well. I am also well. Didimoni, we are very proud of you for making the building. I think no other building is as good as this building. It is very comfortable. In summer it is so cold, so it is very enyojable. O.k., didimoni, next news..." [Poritosh, METI student, Rudrapur, Bangladesh] 

"All too often, aspirations towards modernity in developing countries have malign economic and cultural effects where construction is concerned. Traditional materials and techniques are abandoned in favour of the import of expensive and sometimes energy-inefficient materials and products, benefiting only manufacturers in more advanced economies. The outcome can at worst be the imposition of alien buildings, forms and materials which don't last long and are difficult to maintain. Their only merit is to look new for a time. By contrast, this joyful project, in a poor rural area of Bangladesh (said to be the world's most densely populated country), shows that new and refreshing local identity can be achieved by exploiting the immediate and the readily available (...)." [Paul Finch, Architectural Review, UK] 

"Learning with joy is the school's philosophy - the best for me is to see the building crowded with sprightly kids, who are really happy to go to school. It is primarily not the architecture that makes something special - it's the people: everyone who worked on it with all efforts and potentials and all who live in it and fill the space with atmosphere." [Anna Heringer] 

For more information about METI please visit the website of Shanti - Partnerschaft Bangladesh e.V.: www.shanti.de

Architects: Anna Heringer, Eike Roswag 
Design and Concept: Anna Heringer 
Technical planning: Eike Roswag 
Clients: Dipshikha Bangladesh

Structural engineering, Earth construction consulting: Dr. Christof Ziegert, Uwe SeilerConsulting, building supervision and training of workers in bamboo construction: Emmanuel Heringer (basket weaver and carpenter), Stefanie Haider (blacksmith) 
Landscape architecture:Khondaker Hasibul Kabir, Abdun Nime  
Further consulting: Prof. Roland Gnaiger (supervision design), Peter Kugelstatter,
Rudolf Sackmauer (structural engineering), Martin Rauch (earthen structures), Oskar Pankratz (climate engineering)

Location: Rudrapur, Dinajpur district, Bangladesh 
Building: Two storey school building made with earth and bamboo Ground floor: 3 classrooms, Upper floor: 2 classrooms (dividable), Footprint 275 m2, Floor area 325 m2  
Construction period: 6 months (September to December 2005,  March - April 2006) 
Construction team Austria/ Germany: Emmanuel Heringer, Stefanie Heringer, Christiane Liebert, Christine Karl, Clemens Bernhardt, Michael Bitto, Ursula Nikodem-Edlinger-Holzinger, Cornelia Reithofer, Veronika Reithofer, Kurt Horbst 
Construction core-team Bangladesh: Raboti Roy, Nikhil Chandra Roy, Buden Chandra Roy, Aminul Islam, Apon Chandra Roy, Suresh Chandra Roy, Jitendra Nath Roy, Sonjib Roy, Satish Chandra Roy, Romesh Roy, Fatik Roy, Bimol  Roy, Bimol  Roy, Upendra Nath Roy, Khokendra Nath Roy, Susen Roy, Vhomol Chandra Roy 
Donors: Partnerschaft Shanti - Bangladesh e.V.
Initiative fur Entwicklung und Frieden (www.shanti.de); Kindermissionswerk "Die Sternsinger" Papstliches Missionswerk der Kinder in Deutschland e. V. (https://www.sternsinger.de) 

Donations  
Bank-account Germany: 
Notes: For METI-school 
Partnerschaft Shanti-Bangadesch e.V. 
Account No.: 77 28 684 
Bank Code number: 600 50 101 
BW-Bank Stuttgart 
EU-standard transfer: 
BIC: SOLADEST 
IBAN: DE40 6005 0101 0007 728684