Months of participatory studies after villagers invited the NGO client to build a school here led to the idea of it serving also as a sustainable development centre for surrounding areas, nurturing creativity, freedom and critical thinking. Standing in a vast field, its enclosing wall is treated not defensively but as an inviting, playful shell featuring large irregular-shaped perforations, with one thicker portion housing tuckshop, concierge and storage. Within, classrooms are joined around a large circular courtyard, fanning out to create triangular secondary yards for air circulation and outdoor activities. The non-hierarchically designed complex also accommodates a library and a multipurpose space for community activities, crafts, or tourist accommodation. Its earthquake-resistant structure is coated in a mixture of cement and local soil, harmonising with the landscape. Managed by villagers and teachers, the school’s maintenance is funded by income from tourism plus sales of needlework made onsite by local women.
Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture