The transformative impact of design

Each of the projects we build in Gando is more than a shell for the activities that go on in and around it. We believe that thoughtful design can provide practical solutions for everyday problems and that beauty has the potential to inspire. In collaboration with our long-standing partners Kéré Architecture, we have developed an architectural language that is elegant and minimal, resourceful and relevant to its context.

Mindful of the buildability, usability and durability of our projects, we devise radically simple yet carefully detailed architectural elements. Through passive cooling strategies, we create well-ventilated indoor spaces that offer a respite from high outdoor temperatures. Drawing from the wealth of knowledge to be found in Gando’s existing built heritage, we fuse innovative and traditional construction materials and methods to arrive at something new, but for which the foundation has long been laid. 

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“I realised that beauty is moving people, that elegance and aesthetics really have the power to touch and inspire.”

Francis Kéré
Architect and Founder of Kéré Foundation e.V.


Natural ventilation

Ventilation openings in clay ceiling. Photo by Jaime Herraiz for Kéré Architecture
Natural ventilation in Teachers' Housing. Sketch by Francis Kéré
Natural ventilation in School Extension. Sketch by Francis Kéré

Regulating interior temperatures in Gando’s tropical climate is one of the principle concerns of our buildings, as the use of mechanical ventilation or air-conditioning systems is both costly and ecologically damaging. Many buildings in the region use corrugated metal roofs placed directly above the interior space, which magnifies the intensity of the outside heat. Our renowned flying roof design offers a solution by separating roof and ceiling into two distinct elements. Gaps or perforations are introduced into the ceiling, allowing warm air to escape upwards. In several cases, the ceiling is designed with vaults that allow warm air to rise even further above the usable area. Raised above it by steel trusses, the corrugated metal roof shelters the ceiling from sun and rain and allows air to flow between the two layers. Louvre windows let cool air into the space while blocking out direct solar radiation. These ingenious strategies significantly lower the temperature of the interior and the induced circulation of air creates a remarkable sensation of freshness.

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