Client: Nalanda Knowledge Foundation
Location: Vadodara, Gujarat
Status: Completed 2004
Area: 174830 sqft
Services: Master Planning, Architecture, Interior Design
As Architects we have to achieve the balance between client requirements and aspirations with technology and good architecture as well as the landscape within the master plan. To achieve this requires a complex and committed effort on behalf of a huge team of experts, including architects, engineers, service consultants, landscape architects and planners
Today in the world of architecture, as in the world of business, how well we cope with change will depend entirely on our willingness to change too and on our ability to integrate different kinds of knowledge and to pool resources. A client requires much more than a “good image” from their architect. The architect has to be extremely knowledgeable and have the capacity to function as part of an integrated design/engineering team and provide imaginative guidance when required. This complex challenge is no longer the province of the lone hero, but belongs to a creative and technically competent architectural firm leading a consortium of technical experts.
We believe that while architecture has to fulfill various requirements, it finally has to uplift its visitors beyond the boundaries of the brick and stone that surround them and raise their spirit to a higher plane through this spatial experience. That perhaps is the difference between a building and architecture.
Our site plan and detailed plans have been developed taking the previous points mentioned in our Introduction into account. The site is a 20 acre flat area where we needed to accommodate the primary & secondary sections of the school along with the residential facilities.
The client’s brief required that the primary school of approximately 40000 sq. ft. essentially consisted of classes from pre-primary to fifth standard with 3 divisions each. The classrooms accommodated 28 students. Ancillary structures like the audiovisual rooms, art rooms, music room etc., were also provided. All this would comprise Phase-I of the project along with the administration area. Work on Phase-II, III & IV, which comprise of the secondary school & the residential and sports facilities, would start when the primary school is functioning.
The primary school has been designed with 4 classrooms opening up to the internal courtyard wherein the students can partake activities like growing vegetables etc., This forms a sort of private open space for these classrooms.
Each of these units of 4 classrooms are connected by corridors to form an large enclosed open space which can accommodate the whole primary school for assembly. The school construction started in August 2003 and was completed in June 2004.
The relationship between architecture and the environment has historically been and continues to be a complex interaction of site, technology, climate and other natural forces, building materials and the human presence. Keeping this in mind, the building form, the technology that makes the buildings operative and the materials used in the construction have been carefully chosen.
The articulated spaces within the building forms enables natural ventilation. Courtyard spaces are created within the complex which has minimized the use of artificial lighting and ventilation and substantially conserves energy.
The 20,000 sq. ft. ‘infant’ school has a dichotomy in its design. The façade ties in with the junior school in its use of brick piers and so on, but as one moves through the building a sense of playfulness emerges ending with china mosaic sculptural railings, floor patterns & the fishpond.