Latin America & Caribbean

Children Village: Remote school in Brazil wins best building award

The Children Village complex was praised for its "humble heroism" Image copyright Leonardo Finotti
Image caption The Children Village complex was praised for its "humble heroism"

A boarding school for disadvantaged children in a remote forest area of Brazil has won this year's award for the world's best new building.

The Children Village dormitory complex, which provides accommodation for 540 children, received the international Riba award for excellence this week.

It is based on a farm surrounded by dense rainforest in Tocantins state.

The building is made mostly from timber glued together and features three landscaped courtyard gardens.

Image copyright Leonardo Finotti
Image caption The dormitories, which each sleeps six children, have unique patterned door panels

Dormitories on the school campus, which surround the gardens, are individually distinguished by uniquely-patterned door panels.

Image copyright Cristobal Palma/Estudio Palma
Image caption There are three large courtyards for children to enjoy at the site
Image copyright Cristobal Palma/Estudio Palma
Image caption The boarding accommodation features a huge timber roof canopy

The rooms are ventilated using perforated brickwork, which is handmade on site, and feature specially-designed furniture, according to the Riba website.

Image copyright Leonardo Finotti
Image caption The upper-level walkways provide views of the courtyards and out into the natural landscape

A series of sculptural timber staircases connect to the upper level of walkways and balconies, which provide views across the site and over the courtyards.

Judges praised the structure, designed by architects Aleph Zero and Rosenbaum, for its "humble heroism".

Gustavo Utrabo, an architect at Aleph Zero, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that the building was "improving the quality of life of the kids".

"We tried to make a new feeling and a contemporary interpretation of the traditional ways of building in this area of Brazil," Mr Utrabo said.

Image copyright Leonardo Finotti
Image caption Architect Gustavo Utrabo said the complex was "improving the quality of life" for the children

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