Ajrakh designs grace the uniforms that adorn the girls admitted in Rajkumari Ratnavati School.
Imagine gigantic walls made of indigenous sandstone that curve into an elliptical structure with immense aesthetic appeal, located in the middle of a desert. No, this beautiful architecture doesn't belong to an art museum but to a girls' school located in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.
Foreign architects worked through the pandemic, beyond geographical, cultural and linguistic boundaries, to complete this project which will help in empowering girls living in remote areas through education. Let's take a know-all virtual tour of this magnificent architectural addition to the Golden City!
An architectural marvel conceived by Diana Kellogg
A project initiated by the Indian arm of an international non-profit organisation, CITTA, the Rajkumari Ratnavati Girls School is the first building in a complex of three, collectively called the Gyaan Centre. Backed by the royal family of Jaisalmer, this school can accommodate almost 400 students and provides educational training for all classes between kindergarten and high school.
The unique feature of this school is its lime plastered walls and other architectural nuances, which can provide a cooling effect even when the temperature nears 50 degrees. Further, it had also been ensured that local artisans and sustainable materials, such as Jaisalmer sandstone, are employed in the construction to keep the budget economical.
Ajrakh uniforms designed by Sabyasachi
A unique and complex form of block printing, Ajrakh designs grace the uniforms that adorn the girls admitted in Rajkumari Ratnavati School. Backed by the design wizard, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, this aspect of the project extends the cause of women empowerment in Jaisalmer by providing employment opportunities and supporting craft, that pre-dates modern history.
Sabyasachi stated in an Instagram post, "When designing these outfits, I wanted to make sure they reflected the region's craft heritage, with the hopes that it would highlight for the young girls the beauty and power inherent to the craft, as well as provide a better sense of community, connection and pride for their home."
First planned in 2010, this project took almost a decade to materialise! The overall idea, for Diana Kellogg, takes inspiration from feminine symbols that depict the best traits of womanhood. Let's hope that this school preserves its essence through time and nurtures young girls into educated leaders for tomorrow!