A friend of ours called one day and asked if we could design a school for them. This is the only brief we received and we had the liberty to design a school we always wanted to study in. Later, during the construction phase the client were able to get franchise from a well-known school and called it NURTURE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, at Hessarghatta road, Bangalore, India
While the overall master plan was designed for a kindergarten, junior, middle and senior school that will eventually cater to 1500 children; the current Phase-I construction involves kindergarten facility which has 10 classrooms with 40 children a class. The primary challenge was to design and complete construction of the first 18,000 sft in a sloped and compact site with budget restrictions along with the efficiency of a school filled with natural light and ventilation balanced with a warm and playful environment for the kids. We have tried to achieve the above with an appropriate siting of building w.r.t. location and orientation. The lower South and West were THE challenging zones. Effective use of site slope allowed us to carve out a Lower Ground Floor on South along with stepped 'amphitheater’ outdoor seating in the setback shaded with trees and pergolas. Bangalore with its pleasant climate and less seasonal variation allows usage of spaces all year long. The internal corridor acts like the central spine knitting together all the classrooms with openness and natural light coming in through the circular openings of varied sizes in a rhythmic pattern. Use of cheerful colors for the circular openings and classroom doors elevates the overall experience for the kids and teachers alike. Patterned flooring at all areas has let the child explore natural instinct. Integration of landscape makes the internal courtyard and double-height Activity-zone a pleasant break-out space during lunch hours and play-time. This space also allows for increased interaction amongst the students under adult supervision. Large continuous openings along the North—East allow for good natural daylight and cross ventilation. We have incorporated other Passive design tools like terracotta jaali along the South façade (cuts down the glare and enables usage of stilt area for semi-outdoor activities); indirect lighting using angular windows (for the classroom on South) & narrow windows on West. The design also explores strategies for low-maintenance at an appropriate and affordable cost. By appropriate orientation and shading devices through use of external corridors, chajjas and parts of building's own mass, the building attracts lower heat gain thus enables better comfort [thermal and low glare].