Learning spaces with natural light and air

Friday 18 Feb 2011

The traditional Indian courtyard is imbibed in the design of this energy efficient school

Classrooms arranged along the periphery of a small 4,760 sq m wedge-shaped site create a large sheltered internal courtyard reminiscent of traditional Indian architecture. The courtyard becomes a focal point for varied activities for the school while facilitating cross ventilation to the circulation spaces and the classrooms. The four levels of the school surrounding the courtyard ensure its protection from the sun in a city with temperatures ranging from 26 to 36 °C through most of the year, creating a cool space usable all year.

The classroom floors gradually step back from the northern side creating terraces that are usable for most of the year, protected from the southern sun. An array of trapezoidal openings front the northern side allow maximum light from the north, while windows on all the other three sides are designed with protective sun breakers on the south facing sides. The abstract composition of trapezoidal openings on the northern side, complemented by angled windows towards the north on the other sides and the use of this pattern of openings along the internal circulation spaces and roof of the courtyard, create a large jali (screen) effect reflecting Indian architecture elements in a contemporary way.

The design of this school with both primary and secondary education manifests traditional Indian architecture principles creating a large central courtyard , facilitating cross ventilation and natural lighting , is protected from the southern sun and thereby creates an energy efficient building which is contextual.

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