Studio Naqshbandi were invited to improve upon the existing infrastructure of Deepanam in 2007.With approximately 30 students at that time, it was a budding school with very little budget from SAIIER (Sri Aurobindo International Institute of Education and Research), the main financial and administrative umbrella in Auroville .
Studio Naqshbandi worked closely with the teachers, taking down their requirements systematically and creating a five-year plan to grow incrementally. The first work was to make the existing septic tank-cum-soak pit for the toilets functional with a budget of Rs. 50000. This led to the design of a new toilet block.
The first buildings were very low budget. Due to a lack of information and clarity on the requirements, the built form is improvised based on the money available. Many small improvements made the school read as a coherent campus. The studio was responsible for fundraising for notebooks, batik workshops etc, and procuring donations from various Auroville unites, like granite stones from Progress Landscapes and, waste materials from Matrimandir etc.
Over 5 years we designed and built several structures like the art and craft workshop, clay workshop, parent- teacher room, staff housing, extensionto the science lab etc. with budgets ranging from 2 lakhs to 12 lakhs.
The aim eventually became an exercise in showcasing that affordable, low cost solutions can also deliver practical, low maintenance, naturally ventilated buildings with good quality and aesthetics.
Client: Sri Aurobindo International Institute of Education and Research (SAIIER)
Site Area: approx. 3 acres
Built Up Area: approx. 400 m²
Type: Primary and Middle School
Team: Marcia Oliviera, Akshaya L.N, Annam. Vaishnavi, Sachin Patil, Niharika Sanyal, Sindhu Gopal, Swastika Mukherjee, Shashank, Renuka Gupta
Structure: Mona Doctor-Pingel
Contractor: Mohan Constructions
Photo Credits: Giorgio