If there is a teacher in the village, the space under the tree serves as a classroom. In the morning all the children from the area come here. There are no courses or age limits: anyone can come. Ryszard Kapuscinski, The Shadow of the Sun, 2001

Our SCHOOL wants to be a small but super-efficient building.  

Using a spiral two-story strategy, we are able to provide the 100 covered sqm and the 200 open sqm required in a footprint which is 30% less than if we had developed it in one floor. This fact reduces significantly the building cost and the ecological impact being a flexible, affordable and efficient device. 

With this spiral we are also able to generate different well-qualified spaces: (1) an L shape for the classes around the tree courtyard (2), facilitating the different uses of the space; (3) a protected green roof to grow food for children’s daily meals; (4) an open air step that acts as an activity node for all the people in the surroundings. 

Only an existing tree, earth, water and sun are required to build this project. The tree is the element around which we build the school, earth becomes the construction material used as compressed stabilized earth blocks, water is stored introducing different tanks in the design, and solar panels and batteries catch the sun to be self-efficient in terms of energy. Our aim is to also involve local people in the construction to benefit the existing economy.

A project by



Kimse Yok Mu NGO

Image Credits



Photo by Philip Mak


Born in La Coruña, Spain, in 1985. Graduated as an architect from the Polytechnic University of Madrid in 2010. Granted with the Erasmus program in La Sapienza University of Rome in 2007. Diploma Thesis rated as outstanding and winner of a National Prize in 2011. Secured a Master’s Degree in Advanced Architectural Projects at the Polytechnic University of Madrid in September 2011. 

Combines the practice of architecture with academic research and teaching. Collaborated actively with Irisarri+Piñera Architects, Vivero de Iniciativas Ciudadanas (VIC) and Anupama Kundoo Architects. Developed academic research and teaching at Vastu Shilpa Foundation in Amhedabad, University of Nairobi, Tokyo Wonder Site, University IUAV Venice, KAKD Copenhagen or TU Berlin.

Co-founder of the BarrioBalmaseda studio which ran from 2014 to 2020. Since 2020 she has started a new architectural practice focused on design, teaching and research. Currently Guest Assistant Professor at Stuttgart School of Architecture and Planning and PhD candidate at Roma Tre University Department of Architecture. 


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