A totally different experience has evolved over the year as EIW has begun work in Vientiane with VIS. Built on the fringes of the Mekong River, the city celebrates both its Buddhist culture and its French influences. The IB school approached EIW following a master planning process to work with them on stage 1 of their future development. The development of facilities for the Performing Arts and Sports + Wellbeing, together with a new Administration + Welcome Centre, builds upon recent successful experiences EIW has had at schools and colleges in Western Australia.
An important response to this challenge has been to observe and embrace the Laos heritage in both climate and culture. The buildings will display sustainable principles in a tropical context, provide a strong community interface for use beyond the traditional school hours, and be grounded in the place through its architectural form and materials. EIW has produced a stunning design response to their brief, providing resourceful ideas on how learning spaces can be developed, internally and externally, while building upon the dreams and visions expounded by VIS. As we work towards commencing construction mid-2020, we are building a working relationship with a local architect and consulting group that is an exciting opportunity for learning and practice across cultures.