School as a Community Platform

by: Krishna Jadawala
Instructurs: Snehal Shah, Purvi Bhatt
22 September 2017

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“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high,

Where knowledge is free;

And where the world is not fragmented by narrow domestic walls,

Into that heaven of childhood,

Lets evoke the naughty moments, strike back and fall…”

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School is a special world that students inhabit everyday and where they create permanent memories! In rural areas schools are seen as places for social integration and this underlines the need for designing them as ‘community platforms’ that act as multi-functional spaces for various informal activities. A school that opens up into its surrounding context, a garden and outdoor areas, itself becomes a medium for ‘fundamental learning’. Keeping these aspects in mind, the intention of this project is to design a school which is flexible and ‘modern yet

minimal’. After school hours, this place can be used to hold community gatherings for all age groups such as melas, awareness camps, election spots, marriages. The site selected to design this multipurpose community platform is in Mangalpur near Kheda in Gujarat. This site has a lake as an interesting natural element that is surrounded by multiple green fields and the constant chirping of birds. This elements helps to maintain serenity and relaxation among the housing settlements of Mangalpur.

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The design has two wings, parallel to each other. One block includes classrooms while the other has a library, workshops and computer labs. Hence, apart from the classroom block that has use only during morning hours, all other functions have use for the community at all times of the day.

School as a function demands safety of students. Contradictory to the idea of building boundary walls around, the building expands outward towards the green field. Major level difference is provided on both sides of the open playground that ensures safety without compromising on visual connection with the context. Thus, the idea of security has played a primary role in breaking the built form typology of a school. Apart from just being a place for education, informal spaces are maximized in this design to encourage learning from nature and other practical aspects.