Dwabor kindergarten

  • The modular, scalable design is a prototype for 30 schools in the district.
  • Built using sustainable materials including bamboo, coconut fibre and soil.
  • The local community participated throughout the project.


Designing and building a new kind of kindergarten in a remote district of Ghana was a learning experience for everyone involved.

The light, airy and cool classrooms in Dwabor’s kindergarten are perfect for a curriculum of activity-based learning. A world away from the village’s run down old kindergarten, the new building involved the community from the start. Its design uses sustainable local materials – including waste products like coconut husks – in inventive ways. It was built with the help of volunteers from Arup and Davis Langdon working alongside the community.

Arup provided engineering and design expertise to develop the prototype kindergarten, a model for a rollout programme in the local area. The firm collaborated with global construction consultants Davis Langdon and the Sabre Charitable Trust, a small charity working to improve education provision in the KEEA district of Ghana in partnership with the Municipal Education Office.

Jo da Silva, Arup’s head of international development, comments:

“With the input of local people, we’ve created a model which can be adapted throughout the region to vastly improve access to education. The project demonstrates how global design expertise and local knowledge can combine to change the lives of this and future generations.”

The project was evaluated by ASPIRE, a software-based tool for assessing the sustainability of infrastructure projects. Close collaboration with government and the local community ensured the kindergarten was a model of best practice in international development and helps Sabre to achieve its vision for kindergarten education.

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Design Yearbook 2011 cover
  • Watch a short film about the Kindergarten Project.Play video

    Watch a short film about the kindergarten project.

  • Corner of Dwabor kindergarten, showing concrete frame and bamboo cladding.Open gallery

    The kindergarten is a prototype for other schools in the district.

  • Pivoting bamboo windows in Dwabor kindergarten.Open gallery

    Colourful slatted bamboo windows can pivot to let in sunlight without any glare.