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Teewado Primary School

Building the Teewado Primary School
| Myanmar | Status: Completed, 2019

The Teewado community is a South Karen hill tribe residing along the borders of Thailand and Myanmar. With an estimated 125 families within this community, more than 30% of the population are under the age of 12 years old. With a belief that education is the platform to get their next generation out of the current poverty cycle, in 2017 Teewado community approached WeCreate Studio to look into building a new primary school for them. The new building will replace the existing dilapidated timber structure that was built some 20 years ago, by an NGO. 


In 2017, design engagements through conversations with various stakeholders from the community were conducted to better understand the needs and expectations for the school before commencing the design process.

Myanmar kids helping to carry bags of materials
Myanmar workers

The design focuses on a more permanent and lasting structure that allows for easy maintenance and repair. The deliberate choice of concrete and steel for the main structure were due to the feedback that the community would prefer a building with long lifespan, as they would not have the means to repair or rebuilt a new school in the future. The rest of the wall infills are locally sourced bricks and bamboos, which the community have the means to maintain after the project is completed. With the lack of a common gathering space for the community, removable partition walls were designed for 3 of the classrooms which can be combined to form a sheltered community space to hold community meetings, facilitate health care and vaccination programmes.


Through the engagement process during the design stage, a deeper understanding of the community needs was gained and continuation of the collaboration with the Teewado Community beyond the architecture was conceived with ‘The Learning Village’ Project.

Image credits : Ronny Matzat (DSGNK)

Longitudinal Section (not to scale) of 'The Learning Village' Project'

Longitudinal section | not to scale

Exploded axonometric drawing

1. Painted metal roof with insulation & transparent roof sheets

Long lasting roofing with insulation to improve thermal & acoustical resistance and transparent roof sheets for natural daylighting

2.Steel roof structures with timber gable ends

High uneasily accessible area are given more durable and easily maintenance materials

3. Bamboo screens over block walls as partitions & bamboo shelving

Low accessible area are designed with easily replaceable materials for easy maintenance.

4. Stone wall with bamboo screen for the wet areas

Locally available river stones and bamboo screens for ventilation.

Material selection | not to scale





Axonometric plan with 6 classrooms

CR 1

CR 2

CR 3

CR 4

CR 5

CR 6


Corridor/ Verandah

Corridor/ Verandah

Axonometric plan with 3 classrooms

CR 1

CR 2

CR 3

Communal space



Corridor/ Verandah

Corridor/ Verandah

Floor Plan | Scenario 1 for use as 6 classrooms for up to 20 students each

Floor Plan | Scenario 2 with removable walls for use as 3 classrooms & 1 communal space

CR- Classroom

Opportunities Created
Classroom model

1. Additional classroom

With 6 new classrooms, the school can provide education up to Grade 6, instead of the current Grade 4

Myanmar monk, discussing at the verandah space

Image credits : Ronny Matzat (DSGNK)

3. More verandah space

Plentiful seating are allowed for, along the verandahs to allow chit-chatting spaces for the parents while waiting for their children to end their classes and for eye-care programme.

Passive Design at the community space

5. Passive design

Better naturally ventilated and good day-lighting classrooms with high pitched roof

New clean water system
Community library perspective render

2. Community library

A community library is also introduced to allow non-schooling children a space to gather and pick up some informal learning

Kids painting adult's faces at the community space

Image credits : Ronny Matzat (DSGNK)

4. Community space

3 of the classrooms which can be combined to form a sheltered community space to hold community meetings, facilitate health care and vaccination programmes.

 Better sanitation for the primary school

Image credits : IG @Ronny

6. Better sanitation

With 4 new toilets supported by septic tank systems that can be emptied if full

Primary school being lit up at night

Image credits : IG @Ronny

7. New clean water system

Improved hygiene, with a new 500 gallons water talk system installed to for washing of hands or to be filtered for portable water

8. Electricity

Power to allow for late night studies

Baan Dada Childrens home logo

| Collaborators |

Teewado Community group photo

Teewado Community

Thymn Logo

Our NGO collaborator (Thailand)

Our Engineers

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