Anna Heringer-Her work in Bangladesh, Bamboo and Mud Structure
Rural Development Practices
Structures in Rural Context, Rural/
Project Year: 2007
• The project is located in the compound of a Bangladeshi NGO, Dipshikha,
that is dedicated to helping children in rural areas learn to read and write
• Client: Dipshikha Society for Village
Development represented by Paul
• Architect: Anna Heringer
• Associate Architect: Eike Roswag
• Improve the quality of living in rural area
• Utilise low cost labour and locally available
resources such as earth and bamboo
• Main strategy is to communicate and develop
knowledge and skills within the local people
so that they can make the best use of locally
Local architectural character, Climate
• Bamboo is used extensively –as structural
members (fastened with jute ropes/string), or
flattened for wall panelling, or simply woven
together to act as screens.
• Mild in Winter, Hot in Summer.The thick mud
walls are obviously good for heat insulation
and the thatched roofing does not allow heat
to penetrate the interior.
Concept and Design
• -account the different learning speeds of the schoolchil- dren and trainees in a free
and open form of learning
• -it offers an alternative to the typical frontal approach to lessons
• -the architecture of the new school reflects its principle and provides different
kinds of spaces and uses to support this approach to teaching and learning.
• -On the ground floor with its thick earth walls, three classrooms are located each
with their own access opening to an organically shaped system of ‘caves’ to the
rear of the classroom.
• -The soft interiors of theses spaces are for touching, for nestling up against, for
retreating into for exploration or concentration, on one’s own or in a group.
• -The upper floor is by contrast light and open, the openings in its bamboo walls
offering sweeping views across the sur- roundings, its large interior providing
space for movement.
• -The view expands across the treetops and the village pond.
• - Light and shadows from the bamboo strips play across the earth floor and
contrast with the colourful materials of the saris on the ceiling.
Building construction and techniques
• 50 cm deep brick masonary foundation
rendered with a facing cement plaster
• damp proof course is a double layer of locally
• Technique similar to cob walling used in the
construction of loadbearing wall
• A straw-earth mixture with a low straw
content was manufactured and then heaped
on top of the foundation wall to a height of
65cm per layer.
• After a drying period of about a week the next
layer of cob can be applied.
• Window lintels and Door Jambs integrated in
the 3rd -4th layer with subsequent drying.
• The ceiling of the ground floor is a triple layer of
bamboo canes with the central layer arranged
perpendicular to the layers above and beneath to
provide lateral stabilisation and a connection
between the supporting beams.
• Technique similar to European Timber Frame
construction used in ceilings(Split Bamboo Used)
• Elaborate framework with the Bamboo provide the
skeleton for the structure, bracing it.
• A series of bamboo rafters at half the interval of
the frame construction beneath provide support
for the corrugated iron roof
Finishes and Fittings
• The exterior surface of the earth walls remains
visible and the window jambs are rendered with
a lime plaster.
• The framework construction of the green façade
to the rear is made of bamboo canes seated in
footings made of old well pipe and with split
horizontal timbers as latticework.
• The upper storey façades are clad with window
frames covered with bamboo strips and coupling
elements hung onto the columns of the frame
• The main beneficiaries of this project are
children between the age of 6 and 10 from
lower income families, mainly farmers, who
earn less than Taka 60 a day.
• The teachers certainly enjoy this new
environment, which is a bright and breezy
setting for the imparting of knowledge. (An
existing structure near the new school is still
used for extra-curricular activities.)
• There is a general feeling that the project
would be a bit difficult for them to replicate,
as it involved more work and so may be
slightly more expensive.
• Very few local artisans were involved in makin
of the project.