251.730 Documentation and Presentation of Architecture / Transdisciplinary Interactions
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2022S, VU, 2.0h, 3.0EC, to be held in blocked form


  • Semester hours: 2.0
  • Credits: 3.0
  • Type: VU Lecture and Exercise
  • Format: Presence

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to implement a construction task in a development context in a cooperative process.

mudLIBRARY: Building a library in Ghana

The aim is to plan and build a school library in the village of Nsutem in southern Ghana. The focus is on the following points:

‐ Ecological sustainability: Use of sustainable, local building materials (mainly clay) ‐ Social sustainability: building together ‐ Planning and implementation as a joint project of the students with the villagers and schoolchildren

‐ Economic sustainability: Use of inexpensive materials (clay), promotion of the local economy (craftsmen, construction workers)

The aim is to implement a sustainable construction method that strengthens awareness of one's own building tradition, gives earth building a progressive face and thus strengthens acceptance of this sustainable building material. In order to complete the course, students must work on site for at least 3 weeks. The length of stay can also be longer.
Reference project: construction of a school cafeteria in northern Ghana, 2017: www.mudcafeteria.org

Subject of course

The project consists of three coupled LVAs:

VU 251.851 Collaborative work/design-build projects (3 ects, transferable skill)

Theoretical introduction, conception and project preparation

EX 251.702 Non-European Architecture (2 ects)

min. 3-week work on the construction site in Ghana

VU 251.730 Architecture documentation and presentation/transdisciplinary interactions (3 ects, transferable skill)

Documentation of the project and follow-up

Lecturers: Anna Schweiger, Jaap Willemsen
Project management on site: Hannah Berger and Luisa Zunft (ArchiFair) and Hive Earth

Project Description

The mudLibrary project is a non-profit, sustainable construction project in southern Ghana in West Africa. The aim is to build a school library in clay construction in a three-month construction workshop together with international experts and the local community. 

In the preparatory lectures, the construction workshop in Ghana and through the preparation and documentation of the project, the students are introduced to a systematic and sustainable construction method. The close cooperation with the Vienna University of Technology, international earth building experts and the local community results in an intensive intercultural exchange, which means that everyone involved learns and benefits from one another.

The library includes a library room, a computer room and a spacious covered outdoor area. A modern design, child-friendly furniture and open outdoor areas should offer the numerous children and young people a place to come together and promote literacy in the rural region.

The library will be built in the vicinity of existing schools and will be used by two other schools within a 5km radius. Furthermore, the library is available to the entire population outside school opening hours. The books are provided by the Ghanaian NGO BookDropGhana. In addition, the library will also have computer workstations with internet access. Responsibility for the day-to-day running of the school library is assumed by the Council of Elders in Nsutem.

Earth Construction Site

Based on the traditional clay construction and on the experiences of previous projects on site, the library will be implemented in a joint effort with the students of the TU Vienna as well as with volunteers and construction workers on site. The aim is to implement a sustainable construction method that strengthens local awareness of the local building tradition, gives earth building a progressive face and thus strengthens acceptance of this building material. The students are not only offered the opportunity to get to know the material clay in all its facets, but also to experience all the difficulties, hurdles and, of course, successes that the implementation of a 1:1 project in the development context entails. In order to complete the course, you must work on site for at least 3 weeks. The length of stay can also be longer.

Suggestions for visiting interesting buildings and projects on site - before, during or after the earth building seminar - will be presented in the course.

Teaching methods

Introductory lectures, 1:1 practical workshop, documentation

Mode of examination


Additional information

Attention: Only register under 251.702 Excursion Non-European Architecture! You will then be automatically registered with the linked LVAs. All three LVAs can only be completed together.


every Thursday, 12:00 (st) to approx. 2:00 p.m., HS 14A

March 24, 12:00 a.m

·        Introduction

· Presentation of the project and the earth building seminar in Ghana (Anna Schweiger and Jaap Willemsen)

Lecture: mudLIBRARY (Hannah Berger and Luisa Zunft)


March 31, 12:00 a.m

Lecture: mudCAFETERIA (Anna Schweiger and Jaap Willemsen)

· Registration for the excursion, meeting


April 21, 12:00 a.m. (binding registration deadline)

· Lecture: Earth building in a global comparison (Andrea Rieger-Jandl)

·        Meeting


May 5, 12:00 a.m

· Lecture: Climate killer construction industry - earth building as an alternative (Anna Schweiger and Jaap Willemsen)

·        Meeting


May 19, 12:00 a.m

· Lecture: “Building in a development context – an introduction” (Andrea Rieger-Jandl)

·        Meeting


June 2, 12:00 a.m

· Final briefing for the excursion


July 9 - September 30, 2022, length of stay at least 3 weeks

· Clay construction site in Nsutem, Ghana (variable dates, by arrangement)



Accommodation and meals in Ghana per week approx. € 150

Project participation: € 300,-

Flight costs: +/- € 700

also to be considered: costs for visa and vaccinations

Depending on the Covid19 situation, the costs for a PCR test in Ghana should also be budgeted at around €150



Examination modalities

- Participation and cooperation in the preparatory meetings
- Active participation on the construction site
- Follow-up and written documentation of the project

Course registration

Begin End Deregistration end
15.02.2022 01:00 23.02.2022 09:40 27.03.2022 10:40


Study CodeObligationSemesterPrecon.Info
033 243 Architecture Not specified
066 443 Architecture Not specified


Literatuer in the library of the department

Previous knowledge

Technical knowledge or travel experience outside of Europe is an advantage.

Accompanying courses