Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Project Work Status: Completed Projects
Area: 35000 Sq.Ft
Client: Annabelle Manwaring
Team: Sandeep Khosla, Amaresh Anand, And Bijeta Bachaspati
The brief called for us to design a franchise for one of the largest north Indian school chains, Delhi Public School. Since the high volume model was to be potentially replicated across several schools in South India, we were asked to create a simple and cost effective language that could be adapted easily to different site conditions and slightly varying programs. Our primary challenge was to formulate and construct a 35,000 sq ft kindergarten block ( part of an overall school masterplan) catering to 1,000 children, within six months and at an efficient cost of '1,200 per sq ft (USD $20/sft). We adopted a basic 35-20 ft classroom module, stacked it horizontally and vertically like building blocks, with a repetitive exposed concrete structure to which we added layers of intervention. Classrooms flank an eight ft wide, single loaded corridor that holds durable, brightly painted corrugated sheets. The building's key features include a rich colour palette inspired by regional architecture and textiles; terracotta jaalis as a perforated external building skin that facilitate adequate cross ventilation and cut down the harsh western sun; and the passageway that draws you to a central, linear open-to-sky courtyard, which is the soul of the space and takes education "out of the box". In an age of air- conditioned schools becoming increasingly popular in India, we have attempted a climate sensitive, energy efficient and cost effective approach that utilizes minimal electrical load during the day due to effective harnessing of breezes and adequate natural light. It is our hope as architects that we are able to take this simple yet effective typology further to other franchises in the region.