Namabaale Education Centre

Namabaale Education Centre

The Namabaale Education Centre is a 3-in-1 primary school campus for 1,000 children, funded by the Cotton On Foundation. Designed in direct response to the pandemic, the school is subdivided into three semi-independent campuses, each tailored to a different age group and each providing all day school necessities, from classroom and administration blocks to assembly halls, libraries, IT labs, kitchens and toilets.

The classroom buildings are the third generation of a series of primary schools that Localworks have completed for the Cotton On Foundation over the last decade. Over the years, the design has undergone an interesting evolution; whilst the basics remained the same, primarily prioritising durability and low maintenance and seeking to achieve this with local materials, the structures have become lighter and lighter. The latest iteration uses a daring steel-brick composite walling system where the window frame doubles up as wall stiffener, concealed in a half-brick wall; this not only results in a significant weight reduction with related efficiencies in the foundation design but also allows for the roof to be built before much of the time-consuming fair-faced brickwork masonry can be installed in a dry and shaded environment, off the critical path of the project.

The specialist buildings – the assembly halls, libraries and IT labs – were designed as ‘siblings’ of the classroom blocks, often as free-standing pavilions on hexagonal footprints and responding to Uganda's moderate climate by treating much of them as covered external spaces, with privacy created by brickwork breeze walls. Higher up the hill is the Namabaale Teacher Village which was constructed using the EcoPrefab system by Localworks.


Namabaale and Busibo, Lwengo, Uganda


Architecture, Civil/Structural and Mechanical/Electrical Engineering


Allan Semakula, Deborah Tusiime, Edson Agume, Felix Holland, Guy Namanya, Joshua Mutabazi, Juliana Achi, Moreen Katusiime, Nobert Ahumuza, Oriol Reventós, Philip Matovu, Philip Murungi, Robert Mugisha, Sandra Mudondo, Sarah K Ndagire, Vincent Wamala


September 2023

Namabaale Education Centre