Learning Beyond The Confines – The Wockhardt Global School, Aurangabad | Mandviwala Qutub & Associates
The school is designed on a built-unbuilt concept to foster a child’s curiosity and respect for nature while pursuing a formal education. With the ultimate user – the student kept in mind, each element around the school is designed to nurture their holistic growth beyond classroom learning.
Constructed over 18-acres, this built to minimum school is designed over an untouched 30-acres contoured land climaxing into a magnificent lake with a central forest and a stream. Every structure to create a sense of oneness with nature is chiseled out of exposed concrete with punctured roofs and walls allowing natural lighting, connectivity, and a play of light and shadow.
Central spine connecting the school
A natural stream flows into the lake as the road on the north part of the site sits at a higher level than the lake at the south. Based on this, a central spine was constructed connecting the different school areas along the stream, from north to south. The informal portions of the school like the cafeteria, activity block and pre-primary section are kept at lake edge while the more intense and formal portions of the school like classrooms, administration block and multipurpose hall are at the higher levels.
Designed around the central courtyard with inviting greens and sunlight penetrating through the structure, this area displays the binary design concept using the beautiful play of sunlight throughout the day.
The two-story classroom blocks are naturally lit and are aligned from north to south allowing the diffused, uniform, and non-glare sunlight in while keeping the harsh south sunlight and heat off. Their cross-stacked design creates open-air study areas, deep verandahs, and shaded courtyards for the children to play.
The library oozes with connectivity through informal semi-open seating that faces the future forest. It breaks away from the traditional old school learning and allows children to run and explore their thoughts in the open.
The Multipurpose Room
The multipurpose room is a composition of concrete and glass with a sculptured spiral staircase leading to the terrace to experience the vista of the scenic lake. The state-of-the-art half Olympic size swimming pool, indoor air-conditioned sports hall and a 400m sports track with tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts along with an informal play field throughout the campus allow the physical well-being of the child.
The pre-primary classrooms are placed besides a huge tree and the lake to experience the migrant birds and changing landscape throughout the year making it a part of their play-and-learn experiences in a childproof and an interactive setting.
The Amphitheatre has been designed to host art, music, dance and drama performances/festivals under the open sky and allowing nature to play the perfect backdrop.
Given the severe weather conditions in the region a large portion of the school has been forested in an attempt to create a micro-climate with hands-on experiences for children like organic farming, waste composting, rainwater harvesting, wastewater recycling, passive cooling and arrest global warming which will bring cooler periods to the hot weather there while educating children for the future we desperately need.
Design By: Mandviwala Qutub & Associates
Principal Architect: Ar. Qutub Mandviwala
Project Type: Institutional
Project Name: The Wockhardt Global School
Location: Aurangabad, MH, India.
Size: sq feet: 1.50 lakh
Project Cost appx: 35-40 crore INR
Photograph courtesy: Ms. Pradnya Ranaware