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Shalom International School
Shalom International School
Shalom International School
Shalom International School

Location: Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

The project for a boarding school with modern amenities is ambitious. Facilities include schoolrooms; reception block; administrative offices; a 400 m track with open-air stepped seating and gymnastics provision; pre-primary, middle school and high school dormitories for boys and girls, and their dining rooms, reading rooms/library and other functions.

The long thin site has a shorter, north side onto the road. The site is divided in two, with functions situated on either side of a central spine. This road is the main access, saving precious area otherwise sacrificed to circulation. Reception is placed to the right of the spine, with field, track and sports facilities to the left. The various school blocks are situated according to the site contours. The main library and administrative and auditorium blocks are placed at the end of the road, with residential blocks beyond. Dining and additional playing fields occupy a small area on the left of the spine road.

The school is set in an out of town, open landscape on a major state highway in Jaipur. A courtyard type is ideal for the hot, arid climate of Rajasthan. It enables cross ventilation and also helps generate informal activity in the school. All the buildings have an open courtyard, with functional areas designed around a central transitional space. Open and closed areas operate in synergy.

The orientation of each block provides light without glare to classrooms and offices, and south-west breezes reach each room. Classrooms are placed only on the north and east. This ensures that harsh sunlight does not penetrate further than the corridors. Despite the extreme heat, rooms are not air-conditioned and yet remain comfortable.

The harsh climate also affected the expression of the exterior skin. The problem is to cut into periphery walls to gain light and air without also admitting glare and heat. Views from the classrooms and offices were important. Set-back windows minimise heat gain and allow views.

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