Collective labour and local materials give shape to a school in Mexico

Following a long participatory process with the local indigenous community, Comunal: Taller de Arquitectura created the Productive Rural School.

Comunal: Taller de Arquitectura, Productive Rural School, Tepetzintan, Mexico, 2018

Comunal: Taller de Arquitectura has completed, in collaboration with the indigenous community of Tepetzintan, the first phase of the Rural Productive School. The building is the result of a long community process that began in 2016, in which the young participants – the students of the school – analysed construction techniques and local architectural qualities.

The school’s programme was defined according to people's needs.

“Productive Rural School proposes appropriate educational spaces for the region and the use of local materials, and reconsiders the way of learning and teaching, starting from the cultural, social context, environmental and economic of the place,” say the architects.

In addition to three classrooms for traditional schooling, the project includes a garden, a green space for the cultivation of medicinal herbs, a kitchen-laboratory for the production of ointments, creams and syrups and a workshop where to work with bamboo and other local materials, to continue the construction and production of furniture.

After the first phase of analysis and design, the project was discussed with the general assembly of Tepetzintan. Once approved, the whole community contributed to its implementation by donating materials, skills or equipment.

Comunal: Taller de Arquitectura, Productive Rural School, Tepetzintan, Mexico, 2018
Comunal: Taller de Arquitectura, Productive Rural School, Tepetzintan, Mexico, 2018

“The first step was the result of the collective effort led by the youth in the community, the construction committee and the teacher Pablo López, whose goal is to demonstrate that, through mutual help and collective work, great goals can be achieved for the autonomous and community development of indigenous peoples,” says Comunal: Taller de Arquitectura.

Productive Rural School
Tepetzintan, Mexico
Rural Digital Baccalaureate No. 186 + Comunal: Taller de Arquitectura
Micaela Francisco, Samuel Coyota, Iván Martínez, Gaudencio Francisco, Isauro Manzano, Pablo López, Union of Cooperatives Tosepan Titataniske
Area (first phase):
192 sqm

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