Chimbota wants to eventually build enough facilities to cater for 100 students, which would cover for any future expansion of the school. Boys and girls accommodation needs to be separate. Initial thoughts are around 5 self-contained houses to accommodate 20 students, but smaller units may be more sensible and more cost effective. Smaller units would also allow the school to build in phases, working towards the 100-student target.

Each house would need bunk beds, one cupboard or chest of drawer per student and a seating area with desks to both relax and study. Each house would need its own long drop toilet and shower room.

There will need to be a central building for food preparation and dining although it would be interesting to explore having some smaller units (say for 4 or 6 students) with their own food preparation area.

There would need to be one, smaller, 2-room unit for a ‘matron’ (again with toilet).


The school currently has 100,000 fired, mud bricks made on site but if these are not enough more can be made. If there are other cheap, modular construction ideas that are easy, cost effective and could be constructed locally the school are open to ideas.


It is looking like there will be mains power to the school soon but this is often erratic and we want to use solar power and other sustainable lighting solutions where possible.

The submission

We had an outstanding selection of submissions to choose from and finally settled on a combination of two ideas.


A bore hole, electric water pump and water tanks would be required, along with a system for collecting rainwater for storage and reuse.


The site will be fenced with one gate at the sensible point to access the school.

The lucky winners

  • Nerea Bermejo Olaizola

  • Ewan Whittle & Segolene Morand

houses arboard