A team from Bristol-based firm PLACE By Design has been selected as the winner of Building Trust International’s Cool School Design Competition, beating out 475 other entrants. Located in Khovd, Mongolia, the project presents an innovative educational space that integrates existing facilities and is capable of withstanding the region’s extreme weather patterns.
Inspired to update the substandard conditions of an existing school at the base of the Mongol Altai Mountains, the team was faced with several challenges. The current Tsast Altai School is the oldest in the region, serving 500 children in eight dark, confined, and decaying classrooms. To counter these issues and create an environment more suitable for learning, the competition challenged participants to not only consider the building's durability in the harsh weather, but also “lighting, ventilation, materials, space, comfort, accessibility, adaptability and aesthetics.”