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multipurpose classroom, mazaronkiari


Semillas + Paulo Vale Afonso




Pangoa, Satipo, Junín, Peru.

Shoes on Display

The project is located in the native Nomatsiguenga community of Mazaronkiari, in the Selva Central region of Peru. Native communities usually have substantial populations, and children do not have access to education in most cases. In Mazaronkiari, the nursery school experienced incredible growth in enrolment. The enrolment of 30 students in 2013 increased to 120 in 2014. A school cafeteria was then required. Given the new situation, we proposed constructing a multifunctional space that could serve as a classroom, cafeteria, auditorium, and conference room, with a separate kitchen. The wood-built structure incorporates a system of movable and multi-coloured panels together with louvred panels. By folding the panels down 90-degrees, they become tables that allow for the creation of various types of workspaces. The module of the kitchen was assembled with handmade clay bricks. By combining local materials with active participation and community contribution, we were able to form a functional space in harmony with the environment, within the initial budget and with the capacity to accommodate 120 children. Today, the multipurpose classroom in Mazaronkiari benefits the nursery school and the parents and the community. They now have a place to meet and socialize after school hours.

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Wooden Toy Clock

The Multipurpose Classroom by Semillas + Paulo Vale Afonso is an example of New Wood Open Architecture because it involves the surrounding community through active participation to create a flexible space responsive to their unique social, cultural and demographic needs. The project results from the community's need for additional classroom space to facilitate a growing cohort of students. From its inception, the surrounding community was actively involved in the project's planning, design, and construction. This approach fosters a sincere connection between architects, participants and the resulting built form they each played a role in realizing. The resulting space remains flexible to meet the changing needs of the community. The wood truss system allows for an open floor plan that directs roof loads towards the exterior posts. No interior load-bearing walls allow for a wide variety of uses depending on the community's social, cultural and demographic needs. As active participants, the community members are empowered to use, modify and improve the architecture throughout the life of the building.


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