The RBANM’s Trust is a 144 year old Institution founded in 1873, focused on serving low income, first generation learners and marginalized communities in urban Bangalore. It is located in the central, Ulsoor area of Bangalore. The importance of providing facilities for educating boys and girls, training youth and alleviating distress of the poor and socially backward were keys to his vision.
The brief was to add a single classroom in the existing RBANMS primary school campus for the underprivileged of the neighbourhood. It created an opportunity of making the room like a tree house nestled between the existing mango and jackfruit tree so that it could make a diverse space for assembly, parent teacher meetings, children’s activity and break / lunch area.
Although the initial requirement was an additional class room alone on the ground floor level, it was proposed to make a multifunctional space that would not block the movement at ground floor and open up new possibilities of space usage, during different times of the day. A metal structure was proposed considering the budget constraints. It is made as an open classroom pavilion with perforated sheet and bamboo matts above with an insulated roof.
The school now has a focus area next to the play area, used for simple things like pick up and drop off for children, dining, play, congregation / assembly etc. The classroom above helped to create something that the school was not aware of and was missing greatly. A place that could be made by virtue of just the classroom addition integrated to the stair and main building block of the school.
The landscape strategy with the existing trees, without getting affected also created these trees as the focal points of activities around. The plinth constructed outside the classroom, around the drinking water fountain, around the existing beautiful large mango and jackfruit trees and the edge of the play area or sand pit area created a strong character with their fluid outline – visually soft and much used. It also extends as an outdoor classroom which engages students in active learning experiences.
The school being an older entity had no strategy to deal with the rain water. In the process of the treatment of the ground, rainwater from the roof of the existing building and new classroom pavilion was integrated for its harvesting and recharge of the ground water table.
Educated at CEPT Ahmedabad, the principal architects Nisha Mathew Ghosh and Soumitro Ghosh set up the firm- ‘Mathew and Ghosh Architects’ on partnership in 1995. The city is a PROJECT IN PROGRESS and so are institutions of public / private / individual nature including the home; typically a process of evolution. The wide spectrum of projects that the firm has been involved with straddle all the above types of projects; our Studio has been a SPACE TO IDEATE about the present and the promise of responsible stewardship in design for the future. The reflexive practice considers that the core intellectual strength of ideation and positioning is the necessary ingredient for good design. It carries a compassionate approach to the multiplicity of the organism of the city, its energy and its people. We believe that buildings are more than the sum total of functions and the physical materials / space created. They are GENERATORS OF MEMORY.