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Earth forms the basis for a high-quality building

“The BASEhabitat project covers several important aspects
of the study: deliberate and considering application of material,
high demand on aesthetics, functional, ecological, social."
Reinhard Kannonier Principal of the Kunstuniversität Linz

A kindergarten in a rundown tin shack for 140 children was the second building project near Johannesburg. In the Teddybear Nursery School children from the ages of 0 to 6 are cared for, some of whom have been made orphans as a result of AIDS. With such young users inadequate thermal protection is a serious issue. This project, too, was designed and carried out in the framework of two diploma theses.
The architecture student Ursula Nikodem-Edlinger and design student Danijela Tolanov incorporated the experience from earlier projects and erected a building that is sustainable and socially acceptable at all levels. In baya a material was used that can be extracted locally, provides excellent qualities for creating a comfortable internal climate and is available to everyone for nothing: earth. This time we built what are known as rammed earth walls, in which earth is condensed in a formwork to create solid, stable walls. Together with roofs ventilated from below a thermal balance is achieved between day and night, and the extremes of temperature in both summer and winter can be reduced.
In this case, too, the surroundings of the centre were integrated in the construction process. In addition to numerous workers from the immediate neighbourhood the children's parents were also involved in implementing the design.

BAYA PROJECT Township Orange Farm, Johannesburg, South Africa
Planning phase: 02/2006 – 08/2006 | Realisation on site: 08/2006 – 10/2006 | Building: kindergarten 306 m2 | Effective area: 145 m2 | Concept and design: diploma thesis by Ursula Nikodem-Edlinger | Diploma supervisor: Roland Gnaiger | Fittings: Daniela Tolanov | Construction supervision: Gregor Radinger | Structural engineer: Ulrich Gerhaher, ZT Gmeiner Haferl | Solar simulation: Oskar Pankratz | Earth building: Martin Rauch | Partner: SARCH, Education Africa

Anna Heringer, Tobias Hagleitner, Ursula Nikodem- Edlinger, Petra Rager, Cornelia Reithofer, Gunar Wilhelm