The Children Village Complex, a remote Brazilian jungle school, has been named the worlds’ best new building, winning the prestigious RIBA International Prize 2018. The Children Village complex in Tocantins, northern Brazil, has been serving the poor and indigenous children of the district and will now house 540 children in new dormitories, in a locality where children once had to travel through the dense rainforest to reach school.

RIBA International Prize is awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects, a global professional membership body. The RIBA International Prize is awarded every two years to a building that is an epitome of excellence in terms of designing and architecture and holds a significant social meaning and impact. These awards are one of the most prestigious and rigorously judged architectural awards and are awarded from a list of buildings that are visited by an international delegate of experts.

The green building of the Children Village Complex that was designed by Brazilian architects Aleph Zero and Rosenbaum was praised by the judges for its “humble heroism”. This traditional school building that was completed in 14 months, fuses elements of the local culture with hints of modernity and was constructed with handmade Earth blocks instead of old barracks.

Gustavo Utrabo, an architect at the Aleph Zero told Thomson Reuters Foundation in a telephonic interview that, “We tried to make a new feeling and a contemporary interpretation of the traditional ways of building in this area of Brazil.”

International Experts visited 30 long-listed buildings across the globe, which included the vertical garden in Milan and virtuoso music school in Tokyo, in order to discover the world’s best new building. The award-winning team also worked in close aid with the students at the Canuana School, in order to come up with ways that can help in transforming their lives through architecture, providing them spacious areas to study, sleep and relax.

The award-winning Children’s Village Complex is nestled in the surrounding rainforest and provides a natural shelter from heat and fluctuating temperatures which at times can hit 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).

“The building is improving the quality of life of the kids and we’re feeling the joy at the present,” said Utrabo. The architects are now planning to construct a second Children Village Complex in the Pantanal region of Brazil, along with an indigenous community centre in Xingu region of Northern Brazil.

 

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