The most innovative school buildings in the world

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This school in Cambodia by Finish architects Rudanko + Kankkunen was built by the local community from hand-dried blocks of the surrounding soil. This school in Cambodia by Finish architects Rudanko + Kankkunen was built by the local community from hand-dried blocks of the surrounding soil. (Photo: Rudanko + Kankkunen)

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A rainbow-inspired school in Cambodia

The Sra Pou vocational school in Cambodia was entirely handmade out of local materials with a local workforce. Since materials were scarce, the beautiful red soil of the region was utilized to make sundried soil blocks. The blocks were laid out with small holes so that indirect sunlight and wind could enter to cool the spaces. At night, the school glows like a lantern through these openings. The colorful hand-painted doors are visible from afar and welcome visitors coming along the school's main road.

Helsinki-based architecture firm Rudanko & Kankkunen created the Cambodian school side by side with local residents, with the aim of teaching people how to make the most out of the materials that are easily available, so that they can apply the same construction techniques for their own houses in the future. When school is not in session, the building also functions as a town hall for community meetings.

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