Northern “Rakhine” School

We partnered with the local organization Myanmar Charity Group to build a school in “Seik Tara Village” in Northern Rakhine State of Burma/Myanmar. Architectural Design was provided by Ottolia & Barnes Architectural Firm. Knowing your client is one of the most important aspects of designing and building in a developing country. Within Arms Reach believes that the designs we produce should be environmentally and culturally native to our clients as well as appropriate for their communities. In order to accomplish this, we drew upon our personal experiences working in the Rhakhine State of Burma (Myanmar) and made sure to have open lines of communication with our clients throughout the whole design process. Moreover, because members of our team have traveled to Rakhine and Yangon, we believe that we have a thorough understanding of its climate and culture. We also understand that our view of Rakhine is seen through a Westernized perspective, so we made it a priority to ask the students and teachers of the school what they need in a classroom. Furthermore, we have also been in constant communication with our partner organization “Myanmar Charity Group” in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the needs to be met for the school design.

The three main goals that we have collaboratively established are: (1) to create a classroom that inspires curious learners, (2) to utilize local materials and passive energy strategies in order to leave a small carbon footprint as possible, and (3) to implement and encourage safe building practices.

To see the images of the completed design, please click here.  To read about the completed project, please click here.


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Within Arms Reach is made up of enthusiastic individuals giving their time, energy, love, and life away to make a difference in the world.

We always operate on a firm budget, with very few staff and hundreds of resilient volunteers. Our primary budgets are simply designed to fund the projects.
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