The Jean Mermoz High School in Senegal by Terreneuve Architects fundamentally features contemporary architectural styles as witnessed by the building’s design to respond appropriately to the client’s needs. The building and facility design was obliged in making this possible without unnecessary energy expense. It showcases innovative passive thermal control systems and its devotion in using the expertise of local businesses with limited import of manufactured produce to economically moderate the technical resources.
Building with very limited technical means and based on the know-how of local construction companies while minimizing the use of imported products; to implement on an urban scale a variety of architectural solutions to regulate the interior and exterior climate passively and to reduce the impact of the buildings on the surrounding neighbourhood by treating the waste on-site; based primarily on technical considerations, the project for the Jean Mermoz High School aspired an original and contemporary architectural vocabulary, setting itself apart from the imported models that often characterize the image of African cities.
The organization of the main buildings in tightly spaced parallels, with the enclosed spaces forming planted and shaded courtyards, stimulates natural and transversal ventilation. The construction typology of each entity contains multiple passive solutions for cooling and solar protection: exterior galleries serving the interior spaces, double and ventilated walls, brise-soleil, roofs with a high thermal inertia. The total of these measures assures a thermal comfort during the most of the scholar year, reducing the necessity of air-conditioning to only one or two months a year. The treatment of waste and rain water, the volumetric principles and the careful choice of the different colours of the project, all determine an architecture as well as a landscape that is firmly rooted in the red earth of Dakar.
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