RIMT School, Mandi Gobindgarh, Punjab

Biltrax Media Oct 07, 2023 0

Mandi Gobindgarh is a small industrial town situated in the heart of the North Indian state of Punjab. Over the last two decades, the town has become a hub of iron ore processing to produce steel, influencing a high-density development that is characterized by organic growth. The RIMT School by Charged Voids is located within a residential area of similar urban fabric on one of the few remaining vacant plots in the vicinity. Through this project, Charged Voids has attempted to reinvent the school typology in tier-3 cities in the country.

Ariel view

The design for the primary school is derived as a response to the dense urban context, breaking down a large built mass into several cuboidal units. These units are in proportion with the low-height residences that surround the site. Additionally, the scale of these blocks is cognizant of an intangible aspect of the design program—the children’s perception of scale—aiming to make the school building more inviting than intimidating.

The design evolution follows the site conditions and the local sun and wind patterns, resulting in a grid of horizontally rotated blocks that endeavors to integrate the outdoors with the indoors. The negative spaces between the blocks thus become courtyards and spill-over zones that help in a holistic learning experience and create a healthy micro-environment in an otherwise difficult urban environment. Owing to the rotated arrangement of the blocks, each classroom opens directly into these interstitial spaces in all four directions, which remain cool throughout the day owing to self-shading among the blocks. This feature also maximizes the kids’ interaction with nature during school hours and makes recreation an important part of the learning environment and its experience.

Top view

Two primary entrances lead the users to a string of administrative areas through a double-height entrance foyer or the students’ area, with the utilities and vertical circulation placed centrally to allow for easy access by all user groups, including a ramp for increased accessibility. The plan is designed simply: while four classrooms are located on the ground floor and six on the first floor, the utility rooms, staff facilities, and administrative areas are distributed on both. The basement acts as a multipurpose hall with storage spaces and provision for a small creche area.

The principal material used to construct the school is locally available grey fly ash brick, made from the industrial waste abundantly produced by the town’s many furnaces, making it a cost-effective and environmentally responsible choice. The material also contributes to greater thermal comfort within the rooms. Though left exposed on the exterior, the walls in each of the thirteen cubes are painted on the interior in varying combinations of the three primary, three secondary, and six tertiary colors. The hues are intended to stimulate the children’s brains and introduce color play in their daily lives.

The RIMT School is designed to solve the multifold issues of providing a safe, open, and healthy learning environment for children in tier 3 towns in India, which are often defined by high urban densities. With all classrooms opening onto courtyards, the school design effectively melds the outdoors with the indoors. The voids between the rotated blocks also serve as places of play, which is an integral part of children’s growing years. With this project, Charged Voids draws on nature, scale, and the element of play to elevate the quotidian school experience.


Charged Voids

Visit: https://www.chargedvoids.in/

Email: mail@chargedvoids.in, media@chargedvoids.in

Contact: 01724679112

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Disclaimer: The information contained herein has been compiled or arrived at, based upon information obtained in good faith from sources believed to be reliable. All such information and opinions can be subject to change. The image featured in this article is for representation purposes only and does not in any way represent the project. If you wish the article to be removed or edited, please email editor@biltrax.com.


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