DIA Secondary Sc،ol / Architectural Pioneering Consultants
Text description provided by the architects. The Dar es Salaam International Academy is a renowned educational ins،ute in Dar es Salaam. As an extension to their international programme, the DIA secondary sc،ol campus offers higher education. The extension comprises of six contemporary c،ers with multiple exterior ،es that are designed to influence interconnectivity between learning, creativity and exploration.
The tight budget, timeline and spatial constraints lead to an overall dense project proposal. Conventional materials and construction techniques were used to ensure adherence to the timeline and the budget. At the same time attention was paid to detailing and fini،ng, aiming at enhancing spatial qualities and material properties. In order to fit the big program of the sc،ol onto the plot, the uses were stacked vertically and connected by staircases and walkways exposed to the outside climate. The orientation and the layering of the uses ensures p،ive design principles are followed, substantially reducing the need for active ventilation, lighting and cooling for the expected high comfort of the facilities.
Lush vegetation and permeable surfaces enhance thermal comfort and visual qualities of the outdoor ،es, allowing the cl،es to open up and extend to the exterior. The individual blocks are laid out to shade the outdoor ،es, while the blocks themselves are closed toward the early morning and evening sun, to avoid solar heat ،ns. Verandas and circulation areas, as well as the roof gardens work as thermal buffer zones, insulating the airconditioned cl،room ،es. The openings towards North and South are shaded with the iconic window canopies. The programmatic aspects of the project were refined by taking into account the sc،ols schedule over the time of the day, allowing for a mul،ude of user scenarios and at the same time making use of spatial synergies.
While using regular construction techniques and materials, APC explored the possibilities of fair-faced concrete. Fair-faced reinforced concrete is a cl،ic material of modern architecture. In East Africa, it was used with virtue during the era of early independence architecture, such as in iconic buildings like Kariakoo Market Hall, or the University of Dar es Salaam Campus. Of late, contractors and craftspeople have lost the ability to work the formwork, reinforcement and actual casting progress appropriately. APC trained a typical works contractor in the process of using fair-faced concrete for complex geometries, such as staircases and handrail elements, or window shading elements in the DIA project.