New images have been released by Edwin Seda in a recent partnership with the French Architects Patrick Schweitzer et Associés Architectes whose Kigali Architecture School architecture is inspired by the territory and by colors and shapes found in Nature. The four natural elements are represented in the conception of the building: Fire: orange color, Water: inner garden, Air: circulations, and Earth: lava rock and rammed earth.
The photo essay explores the vivid colors against the sun, and places the building in a canvas that then allows the building to seamlessly blend with the light.
‘Architecture is created to work with natural light but is never really in control of this aspect,’ Seda says, ‘My work on the kigali school therefore explores light as a medium for spatial transformation, a sort of fourth dimension, which only materializes once buildings and spaces are complete and the seasons begin to change. I have been trying to find a sense in architecture that perhaps goes beyond the human touch, the irony being that photography is in itself the epitome of human touch. This is something I have always aspired to dress up, a somewhat self-contradiction too, I guess.’
The images explore architecture within Kigali as a vulnerable and dramatically resilient concept, persuaded by light and the lens as a third dimension. There is a construction of different narratives, of optimism and an underserving in both good and bad weather, jovial and expressive sadness, busy and leisurely schedules.
The images are therefore constants pursuits of the narrative of light and human experience, explored through internal and external spaces and although sometimes somewhat accidental, the images are purely honest in the way they portray light and space, as this is how we perceive the spaces we walk in.
The Practice Patrick Schweitzer et Associés Architectes was determined to build a project which is by itself a pedagogic tool. Indeed, the architecture shows the building process to the students. It is also fundamental for the aspiring young architects to be encouraged to use local resources.
The images explore the school as a multifaceted entity. Simple technical solutions to build and to maintain were favored. There is no elevator but a large and comfortable ramp to get to the second floor. There is no heating and air-conditioning equipment but an efficient natural ventilation system. The architecture is used for regulating thermal atmospheres. Properly designed daylighting provides healthier and more pleasant conditions. It also reduces demand for artificial lighting which can reduce running costs. The concrete walls are insulated, sealed and plastered from the outside with the aim of controlling the solar heat gain. The building is also fitted with rainwater harvesting and storage units.
Two-storeys organization. The ground floor includes logistic and school facilities: administration, laboratories, workshops, seminar rooms and auditorium. On the first floor, thirteen prisms house architecture studios, classrooms and pin-up spaces. Each room has a distinct identity, reflected in its volume, color and view. The outdoor living space which includes stands and benches favors meetings, exchanges and performances. The two parts of the building are connected by several footbridges. On the one hand they allow a joint between the different parts of the project and on the other hand it gives a dynamic visual identity.
Two vectors: education and environment. The agency selected a strong design with complex shapes. The architecture is based on the environment and pedagogic aspirations. Halfway between traditional and contemporary architecture, the building is based on a simple and didactic architecture in an African developing country where population is expected to double by 2050.