Diggi-kër School

Diggi-kër School, Senegal

Diggi-kër, meaning courtyard in Wolof, inspired our school design in Senegal, focusing on biophilic elements with open, plant-filled spaces. We drew from the Bedik tribe’s architectural style, using local materials like bamboo and clay to craft sustainable classroom pods, reflecting Senegalese culture and creating a strong, aspirational structure.

Competition Entry


Diggi-kër means courtyard in Wolof, Senegal’s most widely spoken language. It also represents the core principle and driver for the design of this school; with the principles of biophilic design in mind we set out to design a school interwoven with open spaces, filled with light, plants and oxygen. To achieve a biophilic courtyard school we looked to the local Senegalese vernacular architecture of the Bedik tribe and how they utilised clusters of buildings to define the in-between space. Local available materials were chosen and local construction details adapted to create an aspirational architectural language that reflects Senegalese heritage and culture.

Bamboo and clay were chosen as the principle construction materials. The main structure of the classroom pods being a composite of the two. The bamboo is the structural skeleton to which coir (coconut) clay cob is applied. The local materials work together to create a very strong construction detail, enabling the construction of the unique classroom pods.