Student Dormitories at St. Bernard's

Student Dormitories at St. Bernard's

The project comprised of the completion of two double-storeyed concrete shells intended as dormitories for St. Bernard Senior Secondary School in Mannya. Both buildings had been constructed by inexperienced contractors without professional supervision and were structurally unfit for purpose. Extensive structural testing led to the conclusion that turning them into single-storeyed structures was the most economic solution, thereby halving the capacity to 120 students per building.

In our refurbishment and fit-out design we focussed on partitioning the large dormitory rooms into smaller units to create more individualised spaces; this was further underlined by a characteristic colour scheme using strong blues, greens and oranges to contrast with the brown and yellowish tones of the clay tile floor. All dormitories have low and high-level vents to ensure good natural ventilation and bespoke suitcase racks made of steel and timber. The shared bathrooms combine grey terrazzo, strong colours, randomised permanent ventilation and a skylight in place of the former stair well.


Mannya, Rakai, Uganda

Service provided


Architectural team

Felix Holland with Emma Mugisha, Sandra Mudondo, Solophina Nekesa, Allan Semakula and Jeroen Van Roie

Other Consultants

MBW Consulting (Structural Engineers), Dudley Kasibante and Partners (Quantity Surveyors)


Trust Builders

Gross floor area


Cost per Sqm

$380 (excl. VAT)

Project status


Completion date

April 2015

Student Dormitories at St. Bernard's