Barw’Du School, Liberia

AWARDS: AIA Florida 2018
Merit Award for Unbuilt Architecture


The new school is to serve as a catalyst for a new agricultural community in the small village of Duwehn’s Town in central Liberia.

The master plan on the 50 acre site includes housing for teachers and students, workshops, and agricultural fields.

The vision for the project involves the empowerment of Liberian youth through education and the acquisition of skills for a dignified livelihood.


The school includes elementary, middle and high school clusters.  From an early age, children learn the vision of a self-sustaining agricultural community. 

High school students will benefit from on site development of skills in agriculture and permaculture, and in turn contribute to the economic sustainability of the community through farming.


The proposed building materials are all locally sourced and many will be generated by simple on-site production methods.

A water tower will capitalize on the ample water supply on site and serve the needs of the community as it develops.

Ample natural light and cross ventilation is achieved through screened openings throughout and a double roof system to keep classrooms cool and airy.

The large overhangs of the metal roof will protect the spaces and building facades from the sun and heavy rains.

Electrical power is scarce in Liberia and mostly supplied by fuel generators.

Provisions will be made for solar panels to be installed on the corrugated zinc roof as a source of energy.


Complementary  to the natural environments, the buildings provide dignified environments imbued with beauty in form and composition.

From the welcoming gesture of the semicircular entry pavilion, the elevated water tower and the flower of life garden at the core of its campus, the school strives to generate connections to nature and community.

Built and natural forms will provide the setting for students and teachers to feel inspired to realize their potential and create self-sustaining futures.

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