Architecture + Interiors
The new extensions also provided the opportunity to create 4 large blank walls that are envisioned as canvases that highlight the key tenets that define the school’s philosophy.
In a unique celebration of the convergence of architecture, art and value-based learning, the building itself acts as a third teacher conveying the values of the school: perfection, harmony, wisdom and strength. Through a collaborative process between artist Harshvardhan Kadam of (ST+ART) and the students and teachers of the school, four striking, large-scale illustrations of the values that animate the blank walls, creating an intriguing and welcoming gesture for the school.
The old building was planned around two central courtyards that are punctuated by the primary circulation cores that connect all floors.
This closed-off configuration meant that the courtyards largely remained disused. The design team intervened with the introduction of a vibrant orange straight flight staircase that runs parallel to the built mass creating a strong visual connection between the movement passage and the courtyard. The courtyard is also enhanced with integrated seating and planters along with areas to dispense food during breaks.
The walls around the courtyard have also been transformed with a birch ply framework and low-height chalkboards that showcase the students’ artwork.
These interventions together work to create two vibrant cores that enhance social interaction among the students and act as the heart of the institution. The courtyards also form a vital part of the complex, bringing in ample natural light and ventilation into the blocks.
The interior design scheme is based on the idea of bringing a youthful and spirited ambience into each space. The corridors form a unifying element throughout the school and are transformed into spaces where students can express themselves through drawings, display boards and artworks. Care is taken to ensure that chalkboards and display boards are at an accessible height for children, making it an inclusive and engaging environment. The library and research lab were also redesigned with furniture and storage units ergonomically designed specifically for children
Classrooms also feature low level storage units, chalkboards and fabric pin-ups where students can express themselves. Storage is kept to a minimum in order to create free flowing spaces for students to move around.
There are separate HVAC units for each space, enabling specialised attention to light, ventilation and temperature. The school is also equipped with specialised ‘smart’ classrooms that are fully enabled with IT and AV. Classrooms are fitted with LED light fixtures and high performance fenestrations.
The refurbishment also entailed the revamp of the interiors of the administrative block to create a playful, yet sophisticated ambience to encapsulate the ideology of the school.
One of the ways this has been done is with the introduction of colourful and dynamic suspended false ceiling elements in a combination of white, blue and orange. The vibrant ceiling is paired with monotones used in the carpeted flooring and furniture. The walls are panelled with wood veneer with intermittent fabric panelling used as displays for trophies and boards highlighting students’ achievements.
The design of SMR Jaipuria redefines the typical institutional stereotype, using architecture not as a sterile facility to accommodate multiple functions but as a framework for students to express themselves within, working to make learning a holistic experience that unlocks the hidden potential of every child.