November 7, 2023
The Vaulted School: The craft of creating educational scapes
Educational architecture often serves as the nexus where design converges with the shaping of young minds, promoting not just academic learning but also community and personal growth. Within this context emerges The Vaulted School, a testament to the transformative power of thoughtful design in the educational sector. The project, envisioned by Rajshri Deshpande, the Founder of the Nabhangan Foundation, is situated in Dhorkin Tanda, Maharashtra. It represents a significant stride towards rural regeneration and the empowerment of a community. This innovative educational facility, which can accommodate upwards of 30 pupils, arose from the need to replace an old and inadequate structure. It is distinguished by vaulted roofs that enhance light and ventilation, creating an optimal environment for education and engagement.
The genesis and intricacies of The Vaulted School's design were eloquently conveyed in an interview with the architects from Craft Narrative. They shared insights into the school's layout, which includes a multipurpose hall, staff room, and a classroom thoughtfully arranged in response to the local breeze and sun paths. The potential for future vertical expansion was integrated into the design, showcasing the building’s adaptable architecture. Notably, the foundation design takes into account the local soil conditions, ensuring stability through a pile foundation that supports the load-bearing walls topped with a structurally efficient vaulted metal sheet roof.
Within the classroom, the walls serve as canvases for knowledge, and the low-height ceilings with craft interventions invite the eyes upward to a representation of The Big Dipper, thus creating a fascinating educational experience. The playground introduces the concept of an amphitheatre, subtly engaging students in both play and performance, fostering a community spirit. Throughout the interview, the architects emphasized how every design choice was made with the aim of stimulating curiosity, fostering a love for learning, and encouraging students from underprivileged backgrounds to dream without bounds. The Vaulted School is more than an educational structure; it's a carefully crafted ecosystem that inspires and challenges its students to reach for the stars.
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