Despite heat waves, this school in the middle of Thar remains cool even without ACs

Despite heat waves, this school in the middle of Thar remains cool even without ACs

Rajkumari Ratnavati Girls School in Rajasthan is a stunning example of sustainable architecture & women's empowerment

There is no denying the fact that the summer sun has been relentless this time with temperatures rising over 41˚C, almost every day. And as our urban cooling systems continue to fall weak before the intense heat waves, a school in the middle of the Thar Desert continues to remain cool, even without ACs. A marvel of architecture, education and sustainable development, Rajkumari Ratnavati Girls School in Rajasthan stands as the model centre of futuristic growth for the world to learn from!

The ellipse smart design

Standing as a gigantic ellipse in Kinoi Village of Udaipur, Rajkumari Ratnavati School in Rajasthan, has been designed by a New York-based studio, Diana Kellogg Architects. Contrastingly cool to the surroundings, the structure blends into the dessert, with soft rounded edges to not break against the strong winds.

In addition to this, the team of architects also followed the ancient regional water harvesting techniques to help the school harness precious rainwater.

The oval shape of the building plays a key role here. It is not only symbolic of infinity womanhood in various cultures but also promotes the curvilinear circulation of air within its chambers, keeping the school pleasant even if the desert is heating at 50˚C. The structure has no roof, pooling natural light into the vast courtyard - an element drawn from the typical Indian form of architecture.

Keep the school cool with solar panel canopy & jaalis

In addition to this, a roof-top solar panel canopy has been set up on the side edges as a cooling system, to sustain temperatures that peaks close to 120˚C. Accompanying jaalis too helps in keeping the heat out and further the cooling panel of airflow.

Notably, the Rajkumari Ratnavati School is set in sandstones,hand-carved by local craftsmen and this regional sourcing of materials is the foundation of the zero carbon-emission structure.

Promoting education of girl child in Rajasthan

Besides, the school will provide education to over 400 girls below poverty line, making it a big step towards the education of girl child in the state, where the female literacy rate barely touches 44%. The school is part of a bigger complex, called the GYAAN Centre.

It not only promotes the text and formal academics but also houses a separate unit for a library, museum, performance space and The Medha (space for art exhibition). With an aim to upskill women in Rajasthan a Women’s Cooperative building is also constructed at the GYAAN Centre, where local artisans teach women traditional handcraft techniques.

Knock Knock 

Vinay Panjwani

A token of female empowerment and eco-architecture, the Rajkumari Ratnavati school of Rajasthan is iconic in more ways than one. It is a prototype model that represents the amalgamation of the western and eastern school of architecture and local craftsmanship.

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