Mwabwindo School, a project by 14+ Foundation has been awarded with the Design Miami/ Basel 2017 Visionary Award. Set to begin in 2018, to provide schools and education for young children in rural African locations, Mwabwindo School is the first collaborative project to win the award, sponsored by Officine Panerai.
14+ Foundation is a nonprofit based in NYC, founded by Joseph Mizzi and Nchimunya Wulf in 2012 for the establishing and managing of schools in rural Africa. “To empower children through education, to achieve meaningful engagement with the communities they serve, promoting arts-based education, and the belief that quality design can not only inspire, but also make a difference” are the organization’s mottos.
Mwabwindo School will offer primary education to the southern rural area of Zambia, an area where school attendance is often impossible due to walking distances. It is the second project of its kind by 14+ following the first school they opened in January 2015, which now holds almost 250 students on a cost-free education program.
The school’s design is by Selldorf Architects, NY, who took inspiration from “the tall trees on the surrounding savanna that serve as shaded gathering spaces”. It will include mud-brick classrooms for 200 students, which will be surrounded by courtyards, with a corrugated metal roof canopy, a vegetable garden and playing fields. It will provide housing for up to eight teachers.
The functioning of the establishment will run heavily on renewable energy. Solar panels and a windmill by the in-site water well will provide the school and housing with energy, and a mural design by contemporary artist Rashid Johnson, featuring the Mwabwindo School students, has also been announced.
Additionally, the Mwabwindo School project will also go to provide the larger community of Mwabwindo Village with “better overall infrastructure and access to goods and services, including wells and water systems,increased access to medical services, recreational areas, and more”.