The current situation in Syria is nothing short of tragic. Half the country’s population has been displaced, both within Syria and outside of it, and millions of these people are children. Should this crisis continue for the next seventeen years as the UN predicts, a whole generation of young Syrians will be under-educated, catalyzing a massive ripple effect through the rest of the country’s social, economic, and political system for decades. This project aims to create a culturally and environmentally-conscious school with flexible program space which is easily repeatable and has longevity. Syrians have been displaced across the globe, so this proposal is designed on a module which could be assembled in a variety of layouts to accommodate larger or smaller amounts of students depending on where it is constructed.
The building’s form acknowledges vernacular courtyard homes to provide a safe place for young women to learn, pray, and play. Each module is a 16’ square built within timber framing to utilize standard building materials with minimal waste. Infill walls are either made of a reverse stone veneer to capture daytime heat and radiate it back into the rooms during the colder overnight hours, or they are made of perforated screen walls for ventilation. Both the blocks for the screen walls and the louvers are prefabricated from plastic, so they are lightweight and can easily be shipped to the site and stacked. The timber framing and stone walls may be heavier, but they provide the structure with the durability it needs to stand for years.