SOS Children's Village School

SOS Children is an international organization that builds orphanages in the form of villages, housing each child in a small “family”. Part of SOS Children’s mission is to support the development and sustainability of local communities by establishing schools that serve both the children who live in the villages as well as those in the wider community. HSS was asked to design one of these schools for the recently established Ksarnaba village in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. The school is sited in such a way that there is little room for either expansion or outdoor space. The proposal aims to address both of these issues by providing a semi-covered upper level. This level incorporates play areas and outdoor classrooms, and can eventually be filled in with more classrooms. A trellis supporting vegetation protects and shades the outdoor spaces, and as it undulates across the facade, also protects the windows of the classrooms below. The classrooms each incorporate a mezzanine to allow for a variety of learning spaces. These can be used in different ways depending on the student age group—nap spaces, group activity tables, libraries, etc. A central multipurpose space and courtyard can be closed if necessary or left open to accommodate the daily flow of student activity.


Project Team: Hashim Sarkis, Cynthia Gunadi (Project Coordinator), Ezra Block, Scott Hagen
Client: Lebanese Association of SOS Children’s Villages