Obispo Anaya School
Cochabamba, Bolivia
image: Fundación Pro-Hábitat | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Location:
Cochabamba, Bolivia
Category:
education
Phase:
design development
Updated:
12 August 2021
The Obispo Anaya School is an existing and precarious infrastructure located in a poor suburban zone of the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia, with strong social and economic inequities. The project aims to remediate, reorganize and increase the existing infrastructure through participative processes, that can act as a social and sustainable generator for the school and its surroundings communities and become a reference for learning spaces in Bolivia.
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Introduction
The school was founded in the year 1966 as a member of the red “Fe y Alegria”, based on quality popular education with social participation, training people committed to their community and the construction of an inclusive, intra- and intercultural, democratic, productive society in harmony with the environment. The zone was characterized by informal settlements inhabited by urban poor migrated from the rural areas of the country. From its beginnings there was a strong commitment of the community in the school, among other through the self-built of the different classrooms with adobe bricks. Through the years the different parts of the school have been built progressively to respond to the immediate necessity and the limited financial resources, but without a general plan. Nowadays the plot is fulfilled with different constructions, most precarious, which generate labyrinthic, overcrowded and inadequate spaces for learning. The accelerated urban and demographical development of the zone is generating strong difficulties for the school to accept new students. Additionally, the municipality is defining the sectoral plan with new street’s profiles, which will strongly affect the terrain in bailment of the kindergarten, generating the necessity to relocate it, as well as the oldest classrooms on the terrain of the primary school, which belong to the school. All these situations are generating the urgent need and challenge to reorganize and readapt the school infrastructure.
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Impact
The objective of the project is to remediate, reorganize and increase the existing infrastructure of the school through participative processes, to bring appropriate spaces for learning that respond to the popular education philosophy, the new challenges for educational spaces and that can act as a social and sustainable generator for the school and its surrounding communities. It responds to the strong demographical development of the zone and the need to develop qualitative spaces not only for the students, but also for the community, i.e. re-functionalizing the existing auditorium, actually unused. For the first time there will be a master plan of the school to be implemented in different phases and with differentiated funding. The project focuses on an equilibrated densification of the terrain property of the school, relocating on it the kindergarten, recycling the existing buildings in good conditions and integrating the new ones in a clearer and intelligible form, preserving the existing trees and generating green areas. The proposals integrate bioclimatic strategies, the use of low-tech and conventional construction system together with the rescue and revalorization of traditional earth construction, through the investigation and development of prefabricated, ecological and affordable earth façade system. The strong commitment of the school community will be improved through the articulation with NGOs, the academia, public institutions and the private sector, laying the foundations for a new management and design model for community infrastructures in Bolivia. 
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Core team
The Bolivian NGO Pro-Habitat Foundation (PHF) has been supporting since 2003 the school and the surrounding communities with projects based on participative processes related with healthy and adequate housing. These processes generated a strong trust in the PHF, leading the community in the year 2019 to ask for help to develop a project for the school.

The Core Team counts with:

Don José Condori, an experienced community leader of the surrounding neighborhoods, Lourdes Suárez, director of the school and Estéban Pardo, civil eng. and technical advisor of the school.

The PHF multidisciplinary team and Alain Vimercati, a Swiss architect who is working there as a professional co-worker, has leaded the development of projects which have been awarded at a national level and is responsible for the design process, supported by the Argentinian architect and intern Mariana Ferrería.

The Municipality of Cochabamba, through it’s Planification Secretary, Arch. Carlos Carrasco, and the Project’s Director, Arch. Jassel Encinar, will collaborate as co-founder and for technical assistance. They are enthusiast about the project and its potential as a new management and design model for community infrastructure.

Irma Quiróz, a Bolivian architect with a large experience in social production of habitat and bioconstruction, professor at the Faculty of Architecture and Habitat Sciences, University Mayor of San Simón in Cochabamba and responsible for Architecture Without Borders Bolivia.

Victor Merino, technical constructor specialized in bioconstructions and responsible of the association Tawa Pacha.
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Image gallery
School view from the street

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Coordination meeting for the project

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Participatory design with students

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Participatory design with theachers

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Presentation of the proposals

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Proposals elaborated by students and teachers

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Presentation of the project proposal to the school council and parents' committee

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Community work for the construction of the first classrooms

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School entrance

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Primary school

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Primary school

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Park and oldest classrooms

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Oldest precarious classrooms

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Oldest precarious classrooms

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Oldest and precarious classrooms

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Oldest and precarious classrooms

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Unusued auditorium

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Unusued auditorium

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Unusued auditorium

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Multifunctional court

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Technical drawings
Location map

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Street modifications which will affect the school infrastructure

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Construction phases

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Phase 1 schemes

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Architectural program - Primary school

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Circulation scheme - Primary school

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Architectural program scheme - Kindergarten

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Groundfloor plan

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First floor plan

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Second floor plan

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Roof plan

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Sections

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East façade elevation

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Project view

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Help bring our project to life!

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Help bring our project to life!
Where are we now
The multidisciplinary team of the PHF has been working at the project since 2019 together with the school, achieving a participatory diagnostic workshop, a program of needs, the design development and now we are beginning the construction documents phase.

A collaboration agreement has been signed with the Faculty of Architecture, University Mayor of San Simón and we are planning a “learning by doing” process for the construction together with the student’s participation, the association Tawa Pacha and Architecture Without Borders Bolivia.

We have reached to involve the municipality as a co-founder for its interest in the project and the planned streets openings that will affect the school.
An indication of our team’s capacity:
50% funding already raised
80% expertise already found
30% materials / equipment already found
40% builders already found
Finance: € 165,000
The funding’s request corresponds to the 50% of the 1st phase (primary school) estimated construction cost of 330’000 €, which is earmarked for the acquisition of construction materials, the use of machinery and specialized labor for the structural works and MEP installations. 50% of the funding will be covered by the municipality, the PHF and the school as a counterpart with human resource (design team and supervision), constructions materials and no qualified labor force through the community work. The project will set a new management and funding model to strengthen suburban communities, based on an articulation between different stakeholders (community, public, private, academia, NGOs).
  • Structural works
66,000
  • Finishes and wood carpentry
52,800
  • Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP)
46,200
Skills: Financial advice, Technique
Financial advice
We would be really glad to obtain advice on financing possibilities in the short, medium and long term, as we are envisaging different phases to make it real. The school itself has really limited funds and the municipality is suffering the consequences of the economic crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The 1st phase funding will act as a catalysator for the next phases and generate more articulation with a broader specter of possible founders and financers.

Techniques
The project contempt a conventional reinforced concrete frame structure associated with prefabricated “bahareque” building system for the walls (a mixed type of wooden frame filled with mud), to recuperate local, affordable and ecological construction techniques and materials. We will develop and optimize this system together with the Faculty of Architecture and the association Tawa Pacha and would be enchanted to become inputs and exchanges from others similar experiences with this system.
Bioconstrucciones comunitarias

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Stuff: Materials
We will involucre the private sector, especially in the field of construction materials, through the Corporate Social Responsibility, to reduce the price and reuse cheaper second choice materials.

We will recycle the classroom windows for reuse in the multi-functional aula, as well the doors for the new classrooms. We welcome any window and doors, as well as wood steams for the “bahareque” building system.
Old windows and doors of the school

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Hands
We always work really well together with volunteers and interns and will be very pleased to collaborate with volunteer builders, once the funding is completed and we begin with the construction phase. They will integrate our team of volunteer builders composed of architecture students and Architecture Without Borders Bolivia, as well as the school community.
Participatory self-help construction workshop

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Help bring our project to life!
Location
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