“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…)