“I wanted to create a building about light and community — a structure that resonates with the soul of its people and enforces the natural energies to nurture and heal the women and girls,” Diana Kellogg says. The New York architect has done just that with the Rajkumari Ratnavati Girls School, a resplendent haven in a region of India where female literacy is barely above 30 per cent. The pro bono project serves 400 girls from below the poverty line within an oval form that references femininity and infinity — and the dunes of its desert home.
The school is made of regionally available stone — Dabri veneer and Jodhpur — and was built with the help of its future students’ parents. Local craft and tradition informed its main features, including a parapet wall that reinvents the jali screen (a privacy device for women) and circulates air while keeping out sand and direct sunlight. The building’s orientation also helps mitigate intense solar gain while maximizing prevailing wind.(more…)
“Spaces that are strictly defined rapidly become obsolete. By contrast, anonymous and ambiguous spaces are resilient and multi-faceted, allowing their significance and purpose to shift among users.” That’s how the Mexico City–based architects at Vertebral describe El Terreno, their uniquely versatile project in the Mexican capital.
The new community garden and educational nook is a distinctly flexible space — though hardly an anonymous one. Constructed using recycled materials left over from the studio’s other projects, the subtle intervention transforms a local hill into a multi-use social destination.
At the heart of the space, volunteers from the neighbourhood assembled a pavilion using stone walls excavated at the site and a roof of discarded wooden trusses from old concrete formwork. Accompanying this semi-enclosed community destination, the surrounding hillside encourages small-scale urban agriculture.(more…)