Contractor :Mr. Muralidhar Reddy
Design Team : Chitra Vishwanath, Monalika Nanda
Location : Jakkur, Bangalore
Site area : 0.43 acres
Built up area : 1500sqm
Edexcsl based education which Buddhi follows required spaces organized differently from conventional schools following regular Indian syllabi, and also allowed for flexibility in the design. Buddhi encourages inclusive education and children with special abilities are welcomed and cared for. The school thus needed to be completely accessible.
The school’s intake is kept very low and total occupancy is 200 children.
The requirements were discussed and arrived at and it was decided that the most important space for the school would be its play area since the school encourages physical activity to a large extent.
The site size is close to 0.43 acres and partly rocky. It was decided that the existing rock be constructed on, so as to keep the foundation cost low, as well as leave the soft earth as a play area. Apart from the land features, the need for water and limited availability of the same too played an active part in the design. Various kinds of harvesting and waste water treatment structures were put in place. These too connected with the land features. In the softer part, a large 1,00,000 litre capacity underground tank was built which harvests all of the rainwater from the terrace, from where it is used for cooking and drinking purposes. The top of this underground tank forms part of the floor of dining area. All of the water from the land is channeled, filtered and collected in another underground tank in the North East of the land. This water is used very sparingly for some of the plants around the kindergarten area. Landscaping is kept to a minimum and only hardy, native plants are cultivated due to water scarcity.
The largest need for water we identified was for toilet flushing. All of the black water is collected treated and re-used for this purpose. This way the school’s entire loop of water is closed and its external footprint for water needs kept at almost zero.
The building material used for walling is Compressed Earth Block (C.E.B) and for floors and roofs, conventional RCC. CEBs were made at the site with soil sourced from the basement of a large apartment complex under construction about 5 km away. This greatly reduced the material footprint.
In terms of building design, the NE side of the building was left open which proved advantageous in letting the morning sun into the classrooms. The building was planned such that length-wise it faces the south and the west side. This allowed having a shaded courtyard and open spaces which could facilitate outdoor activities. This planning at the built level also helped us catch the prevailing winds inside the classrooms, along with insertion of CEB jaalis at the students’ body level. Introduction of jaali in combination with fixed and operable steel windows brought down the cost of construction.
In the library and laboratories, skylights are provided over an alcove area and work table respectively. In the classrooms of the first floor, skylights are provided above the blackboard and they are raised to allow for escape of hot air and enhance cross ventilation within the rooms.
Ramps connect the different levels with additional provision for lifts, if needed in the future. The space between the classroom, the ramps and the passageway, in the center of the school is a sand pit and is an internal play area for Kindergartners. The spaces around the school building too are properly used as learning through playscapes.