Sunbreakers in a red hue: School in Rajasthan
Client: Shree Cement Ltd.
Architects: Sanjay Puri Architects
Team: Sanjay Puri, Ishveen Bhasin, Ankush Malde, Pooja Prajapati
Location: Ras, Rajasthan (IN)
Shade is a welcome resource in the desert climate of the north-east Indian state of Rajasthan. Thus it is not surprising that Sanjay Puri Architects made shade the dominant theme of the new school in Ras that it has designed. The institution, financed by a cement producer that operates a plant in the 9,500-inhabitant town, is located at the edge of a works housing estate located slightly outside the municipality. As there is no other school in a 30-kilometre radius, the institution is also open to the children of people not employed at the plant, and can provide some 900 pupils between 3 and 15 years of age with education.
Loading-bearing structure and solar shading in one
To gain shading from the sun, Sanjay Puri Architects mainly made use of two design elements: red building-height wall slabs, some leaning at an angle and separating the classrooms, screening them off from the frequently shining high-angle sun and fanning out towards the school’s sports grounds in the north, and in contrast a large reinforced concrete pergola, in the same red, that overarches the landscaped inner courtyard at the centre of the school campus.
The southern end of the complex is formed by the entrance area and the central assembly hall, which is flanked by the primary school and a wing with offices and computer rooms to the west and east. The fragmented layout of the building is to also foster pupil interaction. Naturally ventilated corridors running in an east-west direction form the school’s interior circulation axes. The classrooms are also naturally ventilated, but at the insistence of the client the architects also provided them with air-conditioning units.