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LEVS architects was established in 1989 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Our field of expertise and interest is all encompassing and includes residential construction and health care and education buildings, as well as urban planning. We work with both urban and rural settings, whether the projects concern new construction, reuse or renovation and restoration. LEVS also works outside the Netherlands. We have developed a strong relation to Africa for over 15 years, especially to the inhospitable Dogon area in Mali. Since 2011 we have been creating all the designs for the foundation Stichting Dogon Onderwijs (SDO) including urban design, schools and housing. 

It is our firm conviction that understanding local culture and the integration of local knowledge and tradition are absolutely essential. With architecture we create and connect meeting places, however this will only succeed if our designs are rooted in the local context and respond to local conditions. For us therefore, it is not the building that comes first, but the manner in which architecture and urban planning together build a society.

The inhospitable Dogon area has a unique, centuries' old culture and architecture and has been recognised as a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1989. It is vital that our designs therefore always recognise and acknowledge the existing situation. At the same time we wish architecture to deliver a positive contribution to the development of the community, education and the economy. To satisfy this, construction projects are set up and performed in collaboration with local contractors. Together we search for innovation within the existing context. Over the past few years, building with compressed earth bricks has for example really taken off. In the process, a Dogon tradition of building with unbaked and soft limestone has been transformed into an innovative and technically high quality version: creating bricks under high pressure on site. This approach to local sustainability will certainly capture the future.

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LEVS architecten
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Construction & Engineering
http://www.levs.nl/