Architecture as Social Catalyst

Architecture as Social Catalyst

Architects have the ability to influence their physical environment, beyond the plasticity of buildings, through the creation of social benefits. Having democratic design and education as purpose is what CAUKIN Studio carries out in each project.

CAUKIN Studio is a design and construction organization based in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Indonesia. The firm undertakes social projects in diverse places across the world, with the premise of providing access to spaces designed with dignity and quality. Their workforce is formed through the participation of volunteers and community members; such fusion is essential for the improvement of their projects.


Evergreen School is a project, which was finished in 2019 in the rural area of Chongwe (Zambia) in partnership with MoA Foundation (Mothers of Africa). The foundation has the purpose to improve access to reproductive health and maternity services in Africa; with this foundation in mind, they became aware that by improving the education currently available for the children in the area, they would contribute to achieve the purposes of the institution. As many other schools in Africa, Evergreen was damaged and hardly supplied to educate the 150 students in each classroom. The lack of space makes it hard to teach and also for students to learn. Through this project, four new classrooms were enabled, which decreased people influx by 40 per class.


Design takes vernacular architecture as guideline, in addition to the available materials less than two hours away from the site. Volumetry shifted by surrounding an existing central courtyard, separating each two-classroom block in order to create movement and visual permeability. Roofs were placed over the steel structure, separated from the walls to promote ventilation and thermal comfort. Due to the high unemployment rate in Zambia, the construction was a way to employ local workers and to teach them new abilities to increase their employment opportunities.


This project exemplifies the way in which the architectural practice is able to improve society in more than one aspect, by creating facilities with an optimal design for the site, improving teaching conditions for hundreds of young students, and creating job opportunities.



Project Information

Year: 2019

Project Area: 400m2

Location: Chongwe, Zambia

Architects: CAUKIN Studio

Photo: Katie Edwards, Paul Crompton, CAUKIN Studio