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2009 Jury Commendation for Innovation

Maosi Ecological Demonstration Primary School

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Jury Citation

The design of the Maosi Ecological Demonstration Primary School offers an attractive modern and locally-suitable alternative to the existing cave schools. It maintains continuity with long-standing local building traditions, in particular, by adapting the environmentally-sustainable aspects of vernacular earthen architecture. The careful selection of materials and techniques, combining mud brick with modern technology such as double glazing, has allowed the school to minimize its energy consumption. The school complex blends smoothly and fits comfortably into the surrounding landscape. The configuration of the buildings creates a liveable space at a human scale that is sensitive to this particular context of the Loess Plateau. Built in cooperation with the local villagers themselves, the project sends a strong message about the relevance of applying traditional wisdom to build in an ecological and socially sustainable manner.