Text description provided by the architects. Renowned for their design prowess across India, Chromed Design Studio has emerged triumphant in the creation of their latest educational project - The Manaskriti School. The school is located in Faridabad and is a metal shell smartly adapted & converted into a school building. With one eye focused on details and the other on utilitarianism, Ar. Abhigyan Neogi believes that a school design should radically rethink both traditional classroom learning as well as the physical arrangement of the designed spaces. Through this institutional design, Team Chromed was able to explore a layout that integrated eco-learning and social learning with the conventional classroom idea to expand an experience that goes beyond walls and exists with the natural environment.
The client came to the design team with the brief to convert a metal shell of a 9x9 meter grid framework into a functional school building. The challenge taken up was to convert the existing 15000 sq. ft. surface into a format of an educational building. The prefabricated structure was retrofitted and a program brief was created for up to middle school level classes.
The school is designed as a G+2 structure with a basement offering access to a multipurpose hall. The layout of the school is done keeping in mind all the requirements and needs of the students regarding studies and physical activities. The school layout is equipped with two tennis courts, one basketball court & volleyball court, a kids' playground, and a running track. The area on the ground floor has mainly been used for the purpose of surface parking. It also consists of an auditorium at one end. Each floor, ground, first, and second has five classrooms each. Apart from the classrooms, the school building is also provided with resource centers, halls, and a library. The school is designed for primary classes with major focus given to classes between 2nd and 6th. Keeping the outlook for interactive learning in mind, the classrooms are designed to incorporate enthusiastic activities that involve the kids' motor functions as well as brainstorming activities. The furniture used in the classrooms promotes a fluid internal design style as the desks and chairs can be rolled in and out of rooms.
A prodigious amount of design thought has gone into keeping the design open and accessible to all students. With the exterior being an interesting aspect of the building, the riveting part of designing this prefabricated structure was to outline it in a way that the entire metalwork is exposed. The interiors focused on cement work and terrazzo. Such infusion of material gives it an illusion of a permanent metallic casting offering a sublime school experience. Since the building is a metal structure, the primary design strategy is to retain maximum thermal neutrality.
The entire grammar follows a vibrant colour scheme of red, yellow, and blue. Since children associate more with primary colours, this assortment of colourful hues allows a more immersive synergetic experience for the kids. There is an interplay of textures used in the design. Flooring is done with Kota Stone while terrazzo and concrete cement boards are used on surfaces, fabricating a layered background.
Schools are bestowed with the responsibility to nurture young minds and thus it is essential to create safe spaces with the use of maximum natural ventilation & sunlight and be free of toxic materials. Manaskriti School engages in the inclusion of energy-efficient buildings by using strategies such as light shelves, light wells, and a louvered facade that helps minimise heat gain inside the building. Building Management Systems, water recycling systems, dual plumbing systems, and on-site sewage treatment plants are put in place for this project. Waste management strategies that reduce the wastage of water, energy, and materials during the construction process have also been involved. Treatment of organic waste into fertiliser is utilized for on-site landscaping.
Low VOC paints and HVAC systems are incorporated in order to diminish volatile organic compounds and other air impurities inside the building. The choice of construction material and interior finishes is made in a way that produces low emissions. A natural air ventilation system assimilated inside intensifies the indoor air quality while providing adequate ventilation. With the building being largely a metal container, landscaping played a crucial role in managing the micro-climate of the area to augment on-site air quality.
Using low maintenance materials in construction and interiors, Chromed Design Studio has managed to reduce the overall operational cost of the building. The main highlight of the entire project is the prefabricated metal structure developed using architectural interventions. To allow freedom of use and maintain the open play layout for air ventilation, the school is made free of the illusion of barriers and is instead designed as one whole unit. It seemed ideal, with the climatic conditions and demands of the use and material of the structure, for designers to plan around natural light and ventilation as crucial elements of design. Relying on simple and efficient planning, and keeping a focus on the ease of use and access, Chromed Design Studio has created an institution that safely blends aesthetics and functionality.