Day boarding primary schools are an essential part of the social fabric in non-urban centres in India. Younger children finish their studies by noon but stay on till later in the day and leave with the senior students in the afternoon. This allows flexibility for parents with limited means and ensures children receive all due attention. The client represented an educational trust with vast experience in setting up and operating primary schools in non-urban centres. They wished to create a new brand image, an aesthetic that could be replicated in further projects, while keeping down costs and managing their environmental impact.
The programme permitted clarity in laying out the building. A circular masonry block defines the entrance into the main covered assembly space which is shaded with a large metal roof that floats above the main classroom blocks, accentuating air movement and keeping the area naturally cool. The classrooms are designed along a double loaded corridor, but with half of the width punctured to allow daylight to flood into the lower floors. These are left open to the elements, creating pockets of green spaces along the walking passage. Vertical circulation elements are also treated as open spaces, with only enough covering to shade the actual staircases. The playground area was consolidated in the centre of the site and was designed in a way to double up as parking for buses during the latter part of the day.
Exposed brick was chosen for its easy availability and permanent finish, acting both as structure and finish. Steel framed double insulated operable windows are partially screened to minimize heat gain. The metal roofs above the assembly and circulation areas are finished in a bright blue, echoing the school colours.