Compelling design for Jadgal School by Daaz engages a rural Iranian village
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Compelling design for Jadgal School by Daaz engages a rural Iranian village

21 Jun 2024  •  News  •  By Allie Shiell

Located in Seyedbar-Jadgal village in Southern Iran, the Jadgal School by Daaz was commissioned after a competition by Iran-e-Man, a non-governmental organization that constructs schools in disadvantaged areas of the country.  The elementary school design features a playful, perforated enclosing wall that wraps around naturally ventilated classrooms, community spaces, and an outdoor courtyard. The project recently won the RIBA International Award for Excellence 2024. 

photo_credit DEEDstudio
DEEDstudio

At the outset of the design process, the project team carried out several months of architectural and social studies in the area and region. Through a participatory process, needs and deficiencies were identified and prioritized, as well as the potential of inhabitants and the area. From this, the concept of a place of education for children and a meeting and learning point for everyone in the village emerged. 

This single-story building, measuring 480 square meters in area, comprises seven volumes arrayed around a large central courtyard. The volumes contain four primary classrooms, a library, a multifunctional room that functions as a conference room, a workshop or exam room, and secondary courtyards. 

photo_credit DEEDstudio
DEEDstudio

Enveloping the highly programmed core is a porous, playfully inviting shell of variable width that challenges the traditional narrative of the wall as a barrier or separator. Openings within the wall are strategically arranged so that people seated in class can have a panoramic view of the plain. These openings, of various sizes and shapes, also provide students with multiple entrances to the school. The curving wall becomes thinner near the back, but doubles up as a shell near the front, creating sit-out areas as well as accommodating uses such as a tuck shop, a school guard’s room, and a storeroom. 

photo_credit DEEDstudio
DEEDstudio

The structure was built with ICF (insulated concrete formwork), which includes polystyrene (EPS) panels, galvanized iron profiles, and reinforced concrete. The final coating layer that was applied is a semi-local material comprising local cement and earth called Simgel. This material prevents rust due to excessive flooding and rain and creates a harmonious blend with the surrounding colours and textures. In the case of destruction or cracking, the villagers can easily make repairs, ensuring the longevity and sustainability of the structure.  

photo_credit DEEDstudio
DEEDstudio

The school is managed and maintained by a team of villagers and teachers, and as part of the community outreach, a needlework workshop and Instagram page called @banook has been set up to empower women of the village and engage them in social and economic activities.