metaform architects metaform architects

metaform - ARCHITECTS

Bioclimatic and sustainable learning center

Center for Renewable Energy and Industrial Maintenance. Praia - Praia, Cape Verde

# Award Winner

At the beginning of this project, a main idea guided our concept : the profound influence of the local context. Cape Verde, with its unique blend of culture, climate, and natural conditions, presented an undeniable essence that we were eager to integrate into our bioclimatic learning center project. From the outset, our commitment has been to harmonize with and contribute to the distinctive character of this captivating environment.

How do we think of and design a building while carefully integrating these local features, without harming them at the same time?

Cape Verde has a very particular local climate. Its specific conditions, such as 350 days of sun per year, very few days of rain and a constant North-East wind, challenged us to integrate these into the design process as driving force.

Both the building’s specific form and organization come from the local conditions and context :

  • the classrooms are organized around the central open-air interior court, called AGORA. This space is sheltered and sun protected with the pergola, but still allows natural airflow,
  • since the biggest part of the construction material is imported to Cape Verde, we chose to use a traditional massive wall as much as possible, in order to stay local and use local materials,
  • because of constant N-E wind, the positioning and orientation of the building became crucial. This is where particular roof design comes from: our aim to use the wind force and integrate natural ventilation.

Natural conditions led us to design a building while using natural sources in harmless way to create optimal working and studying conditions, without too much cost.

The roof shape allows the air to come in, circulate inside the building and partially go out through the black chimneys, while creating the negative pressure on the exit. The other part of this air goes through the openings on the top of the AGORA, and flows across to supply the classrooms on the opposite side while naturally cooling them and creating another negative pressure airflow on the exit. In such a way, interior spaces get naturally ventilated and cooled, so does the roof structure as well.


Contemporary Heritage