A comparison of two schools in Sub-Saharan Africa
Primary school education, Tropical Modernism, Standardization and modularity, Rwanda and Ghana, Climate responsivenessAbstract
The architectural design of educational spaces in Sub-Saharan Africa after the 1950s was heavily influenced by Tropical Modernism, an architectural style that rose to prominence in Africa during the period of independence movements across the continent. Notably, in growing independent countries such as Rwanda and Ghana, educational buildings assumed profound symbolic significance as tangible representations of progress and development. This article explores the architecture of two primary schools, École Belge in Kigali, Rwanda and Republic Road School in Tema, Ghana. It highlights the role of standardization as well as the role of landscape and climate responsiveness in school designs and today’s impact of the school buildings on their respective communities. The two schools in Ghana and Rwanda were selected in order to draw on themes related to Anglophone and Francophone colonial influences. Through site visits and document analysis, general conclusions were drawn to describe how two schools built at the same time but in completely different parts of Sub-Saharan Africa are very similar and yet so different.