Ekya Byrathi by Mindspace Architects is a school for the CMR Group of Institutions. Mindfully conceptualised for varying age groups, from kindergarten to class 12, the edifice shields the interiors from the harsh western sun till 3pm, which is when the school day ends. A spine of ‘movement spaces’ runs across the length of the structure, serving a dual purpose of facilitating natural light and enabling a wind tunnel for ventilation. The playground, located at the rear side doubles up as an assembly area with a proscenium, while the presence of varying volumes, skylights, a generous interspersion of foliage and a staircase that culminates in an amphitheatre, result in a holistic and harmonious educational environment. Scroll down to read the architects’ description of the Bangalore-based project.
This is the fourth school we were doing for our client, the CMR Group of Institutions. The idea of the EKYA brand of schools was established over the last few years, hence certain standards and details had to be repeated from one school to another, yet our intent was for each campus to have its site-specific identity. The school is from Kindergarten to class 12; hence we had to design for different age groups with different sensitivities.
The KG and lower primary section was treated as a school within the school, having its own separate entrance, play area etc. The site was abnormally long and narrow with the longer sides facing east and west. Out of the site extent of 2 acres, 1 acre is left open for the playground. A decision was taken to locate the school building in the front part of the site so that it does not overlook the apartment on the adjoining site as also to have the playground on the rear free of vehicular traffic. One of the longer sides of the school faces west.
However, the school closes at 3pm and the windows are designed to shield the western sun, up to that time. A movement spine runs across the length of the building bringing in natural light and acts like a wind tunnel. Two large volumes are carved out, opening the spine in the lateral directions. The main staircase becomes an amphitheater as a culmination of the spine and also connecting upper levels. Corridors at different levels open up to create spaces of different volumes to address age groups of different sizes, creating informal learning spaces, storytelling areas etc. under the skylight. The playground on the rear doubles up as an assembly area. The rear facade of the building is designed to respond to this, by creating a stage and proscenium.