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Akshay Pratishthan

New Delhi, India
1 of 4Architects Web

The Akshay Pratishthan School Annexe was designed to meet the evolving needs of educating and imparting skills to differently able children along with students from disadvantaged backgrounds, to enable them to learn and live together.

This structure was designed and built in two months while the Main Building of the school was being constructed. Its initial function was to house five classrooms, and once these shifted to the main building, it housed extra-curricular activities such as a crafts centre, a gymnasium, a play space and an amphitheatre. The exigencies of time necessitated the structural separation of the roof and the walls so that they could come up simultaneously. The roof is a corrugated sheet donated for the cause and was covered with thatch and creepers to improve thermal performance and blend it with the mud brick walls.

The Annexe attempts to create elements of joy, excitement, beauty and scale. It seeks to establish a strong tactile relationship with material, built form and space that are missing in the resettlement colonies from where most students come. The Annexe is also in deliberate contrast to the rectilinear, brutist, main building which appeared to have little to do with the world of the child. The building was nominated for the Aga Khan Award in 1995.