The Rajasthan School, Nagaur, India, project: Sanjay Puri Architects
Client: Shree Cement Ltd.; Location: Ras, Rajasthan, India; Project: Sanjay Puri Architects; Principal Architect: Sanjay Puri; Project architects: Ishveen Bhasin, Ankush Malde, Pooja Prajapat; Photos: Dinesh Meta
Imbibing the organic character of Indian villages and old cities, the Rajasthan School is a low rise three level school with open, enclosed and semi-enclosed spaces of various volumes.
Taking cognizance of the desert climate of its location with temperatures in excess of 35°C for most of the year, each of the classrooms is north oriented to derive indirect sunlight.
The auditorium, primary school, and administration space occupy the southern side of the plot opening into a large sheltered open area towards the north beyond which the secondary school classrooms, library and cafeteria are located.
The semi-sheltered courtyard has multiple angular pathways, connecting the two parts of the school with landscaped play spaces that foster sociality.
Traversed by a series of linear trapezoidal frames and sun-breakers, this focal area has a constantly changing shadow pattern depending on the sun’s direction throughout the day.
The layout is intentionally fragmented allowing open landscaped spaces to be interspersed with the school’s learning spaces. The entire school opens towards a multipurpose playground and athletics track on the northern side.
The entire circulation is through open naturally ventilated corridors traversing and skirting the focal semi-sheltered landscaped court in the center. Angled vertical walls act as sun breakers to reduce heat gain from the east, west and south sides generating cooler internal spaces.
The complete electrical power requirement is generated by the residual energy of a cement plant nearby. In addition, the entire water is recycled and reused.
The organic layout creates a different character to each part of the school, orienting each space with different views and different perceptions.