2012 – 2015

Constructing for improvement in education

Designed, Built

Photo: Kurt Hörbst

Around 300 children live in Sunderpur, a village for people suffering from leprosy in the north of the state of Bihar, India. They all go to school in the village and hope for a better future. However, the conditions are difficult; it is not easy to find good teachers who want to live and teach in this challenging environment.
In autumn 2012, BASEhabitat started building new teachers’ accommodation as part of a cooperation programme between the Little Flower Austria NGO and the University of Art and Design Linz. The aim was to attract good teaching staff. The complex at the centre of the village comprises six apartments over two floors and a community hall. 

Self-made loam blocks and bamboo are the main construction materials. The village itself can produce these building materials cheaply. The moisture and temperature regulating properties of the loam are very important in the hot and humid climate.
Fifteen unskilled workers from the village and 30 students from the University of Art and Design Linz built the apartments in several stages. Together, they were able to overcome all the obstacles in their way, such as Hindi and almost no English on the building site, a handful of machines all battling against rust and power cuts, and crooked bamboo culms.
The first teachers were already able to move in during the summer of 2015. This project was not only covered by the local press; it was also chosen as one of the best projects in the area of cooperative housing as part of the first Terra Award 2016.

Video from the construction site 2015

Photo: Stefanie Hueber

Photo: Kurt Hoerbst

“I think it is a great privilege to experience all the stages of a construction project while still studying. The experience I gained is irreplaceable.”

Iris N. (student, Austria)

Photo: Kurt Hoerbst

Photo: Kurt Hoerbst

Photo: Kurt Hoerbst

Research and Design
Sebastian Vilanek, Iris Nöbauer, Felix Ganzer, Jomo Zeil

Design supervision
Roland Gnaiger, Michael Zinner, Clemens Quirin

Site management
Iris Nöbauer & Sebastian Vilanek, Franz Landl, Fatima Martín (Bambus)

Little Flower

Nominiert für den Terra Award 2016
National Energy Globe Award India 2017

Land OÖ, Little Flower