The Rajasthan School is an interesting creation by Sanjay Puri Architects playing full tribute to the site, the context, and the functions. Designed to suit the climate of Rajasthan, the school has a facade of red angled fins, along with a towering entrance. The school is also energy efficient with its layout planning, and sources of energy.
Rajasthan, the largest state in India, which contains the Thar Desert, is well known for its extreme climatic conditions. Amidst the dry breeze, one cannot miss out on the towering red beams that make the walkways of this school here.
Designed by Sanjay Puri Architects, the Rajasthan School, is set over three storeys. The criss-cross alignment of the pathways creates an interesting shadow play right at the entrance. There is a large central courtyard amidst these walkways that gets shelter from the pergolas aligning them. They are red, bold, and larger than life. As we traverse within them, towards the interior of the school, we notice the primary coloured interiors behind the deep red-walled facades.
The school’s east, west, and south walls are slanted to deflect the sun, sloping such that they are broader at the bottom than at the top. Sanjay Puri Architects, established in 1988, in Mumbai, Maharashtra always ensures to provide contextual solutions in the built environment. The school has also been fueled by leftover energy generated by a local cement industry, making it environmentally friendly and energy-efficient.
The energy efficiency is further articulated from the design of the red beams which provide shade, ventilation, and circulation ensuring breathability within the spaces. Every classroom has been designed to face north to make maximum use of the indirect sun. This is also a sustainable move ensuring maximum daylight utilisation. Angled fins protrude from either side of the recessed glazing sections. These act as a design element for the facade, while ensuring protection against harsh climatic conditions.
The complex’s southern side has primary school classrooms, a triple-height auditorium, and administrative offices. Secondary school classrooms, a library, and a cafeteria are located on the other side of the shaded courtyard area.
The school’s layout was also said to be inspired by the urban style of an old Indian city, with narrow lanes covered by high walls, according to Sanjay Puri Architects. The inspiration from the organic old towns, with an informal layout, alternating open and enclosed volumes resulting in a climate-responsive design is a highly exploratory space.
The classrooms are surrounded by semi-open courtyards, and the adjacent grounds include sports courts and a jogging track. Inside, the walls are painted in the same vivid red, with blue and yellow accents. Internal organic circular cut-outs or perforated facades interrupt these blocks of primary colours, offering fascinating visual linkages across corridors and staircases while also enabling air to pass through.
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