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introduction Edit

The war in Syria has forced millions of people to migrate to neighbouring countries and has been stretching services and public infrastructure in the region. The Lebanese government does not have the capacity to provide education for this new population, which now represents almost one third of the total Lebanese population. For this reason, creating an adequate, stimulating and stable learning environment is essential for supporting and promoting positive childhood development.

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image gallery Edit

technical drawings Edit

cultural and social context Edit

The school is located within the Jarahieh Informal Tented Settlement (ITS) of Al-Marj, considered one of the largest in the area. The children in the ITS attend the school during the first shift, while students from neighboring settlement attend it during the afternoon shift. Jusoor, the local NGO running the education program, is teaching the children: Arabic literacy; English; Maths; Science; Art; Sports. The goal is to prepare these children to successfully enroll in the Lebanese public school system – and this has now been achieved for over 400 children.

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materials and building techniques Edit

The reuse of the pavilion structure to serve a humanitarian cause, providing a safe environment for education, answers to global sustainability. The world we live in witnesses an increase in the gap of resources distribution, this project provides a proof of the success of global reuse to tackle humanitarian crisis.

Argot au La Maison Mobile studio designed the pavilion to be disassembled, using timber structure. The pavilion consisted of an open space through independant units. To become a school, CatalyticAction redesigned the layout of the units to include a courtyard for recreational space. Also the skin of the building was designed in order to create enclosed spaces. In order to achieve this materials were sourced locally including wool, wood, reclaimed corrugated metal sheeting, etc.

The choices of materials adapted to the low budget and focused on empowering the local community by sourcing materials locally, and when possible purchasing them from the most vulnerable.

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earth and climate Edit

The Bekaa valley is characterised by its harsh climate conditions, it is very cold during the winter and hot and dry during the summer. The design of the facade makes it a breathable structure allowing good insulation performance. 



Project details
Project name: A school for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon, once was a pavilion in an International expo in Italy.
Description: A school providing an adequate learning environment
Category: education
Design: CatalyticAction carried out the repurposing of the pavilion, design and building of the school. The pavilion for the 2015 Expo Milan was designed by Argot au La Maison Mobile studio.
Consultants: ARUP UK - Structural consultancy
Building status: in use
Construction period: 3 months
Location: Al-Marj, Bekaa, Lebanon
Coordinates: 33°45'42.7'' N, 35°53'24.1'' E
Tags: community, education, informal settlement, reuse building, participation
Project ID: 715
Published: 26 January 2017
Last updated: 12 February 2017
(images have individual licenses)
CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
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