Interview with Lena Viterstedt
In the epic never-ending landscape, there is nowhere to be seen any rock, no stone. Yet, here stands a new solid brick school, literally born from the ground.
– We became inspired by the traditional method of making bricks from the earth, says Lena Viterstedt at Kjellander Sjöberg, an architectural firm which designed a school structure well in tune with the old buildings in Nakamtenga.
Laterite is a soil art which can be formed by hand into bricks to be hardened in the strong sun. It is cheap, it is strong and the stones can be recycled in the future.
This kind of cooperation is a central part of Yennenga’s development activities, when various professionals offer their time and competence. Nakamtenga received both labour opportunities and nice class rooms (those are also cool!) for more children in the region; the company performed an act of solidarity and strengthened its profile as an actor for sustainability with an ambition to advocate UN:s Global Goal no 6.
The school was inaugurated in 2017 and Kjellander Sjöberg has continued with other innovations:
– We have constructed latrines and incinerators which the villagers can build themselves from laterite, tells Lena Viterstedt. From the drawings we made manuals to be copied and distributed in order for additional villages to benefit.
Furthermore, Kjellander Sjöberg trained one of Nakamtenga’s youth in architecture.
See more nice photos at https://kjellandersjoberg.se/projekt/projekt/nakamtenga-byskola/
where you may also note a prestigious architectural award. Lena Viterstedt was interviewed by The Swedish Red Cross film academy.