The Outdoor Classroom in Pune, India / Studio Inifinity
The client approached architect firm Studio Infinity with a requirement to design a pre-primary school for about 80-100 students on a site, which was part of a commercial building abutting a large residential colony. The client (already having two operational schools) gave a very clear brief for this new addition. She wanted a school that will stand out from the other pre-primary schools in the vicinity so that the number of admissions increases. Maximum utilisation of the space available across 3 floors and having a child-friendly premise was her prime requirement.
“One of the first challenges was to deal with a total area of 3000 sq. ft. spread across 3 levels. Secondly, out of this total area, covered space was just 50%. During our initial discussions with the client, we made an attempt to understand their new ways of teaching and conducting classes. We also visited other similar schools in the vicinity. To our surprise, a very radical system of conducting classes has evolved over the years. It is not only about lessons taught in the class but also about activity-based learning. We also noticed that most schools catering to this age group between 2-5 years were very similar in terms of look and feel and space aesthetics.,” shared Studio Infinity.
Design Deliberations. Material palette and overall design vocabulary was derived to be more earthen so that a human connect is achieved. Bamboo, ‘kavdi’ flooring, cement boards, and Agro wood helped to define aesthetics. Customised graphics, minute detailing and child-centric approach formed the backbone of our designs. Splashes of colour were strategically used to highlight certain aspects of design.
(All images are credited to Atul Kanetkar)