The vision for the design for the Girl’s Hostel at The Mann School centres on the importance of providing facilities to promote learning and all-round development at a home-away-from-home. The brief of the project was to create a safe environment for the girls with all the necessary functional requirements and a multitude of public spaces. The Girls Hostel building was proposed within the complex of the school since the existing boarding facilities could not cater to the increasing number of students and their requirements.
Functionally, it houses the dormitories for girls from grade 1-12, a study hall, and common recreational areas like a game and television room, a computer room, and a salon, catering to their every requirement in one place. The hostel is planned to overlook a central courtyard, with dormitories facing the corridors to ensure a lively and interactive environment. The corridors are widened in an angular fashion to accommodate seating spaces for children to relax. The building opens out at a different angle on every floor, with inward-looking terraces staggered to help create a sense of visual connection for everyone, regardless of where they are positioned.
The residential facilities for younger children (grade 1-4) are planned on the ground floor, so they don’t have to climb up the stairs, thus ensuring safety. The dormitories are designed to ensure optimal ingress of daylight and ventilation with windows along the custom-designed bunk beds, allowing each child with a view to the outside. The dining area, the parent’s lounge, as well as recreational spaces like the indoor play area, are also
located on the ground floor. The first and second floors, on the other hand, are dedicated to facilities for older students: 4-bedded and 6-bedded dormitories with individual beds and study areas. The infirmary and the salon are also positioned on the first floor to accommodate all the facilities in one place, making the hostel self-sufficient.
All the activity areas like the common room, computer lab, and games room are planned in the basement around the central courtyard and the sunken amphitheatre, making it the liveliest zone in the building. Designed as an extension of the common room, the amphitheatre acts as a congregation spot where students and staff often come together to celebrate birthday parties and musical get-togethers.
We had a huge context to deal with when we started designing this building- which was the existing fabric of the school all around it. Thus, the building was designed as an antithesis of 'standing out' and instead, merge into the context.
It had to stand as an icon of progression while being responsible towards nature and respectful to its surroundings. The palette was kept neutral, the base line eliminated by the use of green mounds, and a constant wind passage into the school maintained by channeling it through the central courtyard. The windows are made of UPVC, keeping the heat transmission through glass to a minimum. The southern and western walls are made out of hollow rattrap bond thus bringing the heat load further down. And while doing all this, the space inside is one of fun, enjoyment and loads of interaction. Right from the seating in the passages, to the central garden to the connected amphitheatre and its further connection to the common room - makes the hostel truly a connected and lively space from within. All this under the watchful eye of a warden, whose residence overlooks the same central courtyard.
Managing the site context was a true challenge in the design of the hostel. The hostel building is located within the complex of the Mann School; hence, we already had a palette to start with. The site had a very strong demand on how the building should be – in its form as well as the elevational treatment. We did not want to go with the existing brick structure of the surrounding buildings but made sure that the design responded to its context and did not stick out like a sore thumb.
The campus’ existing colour scheme of red and grey is maintained while brick is used as a critical design element on the facades to help the new building blend cohesively within its surroundings. A metal jaali is also installed on the façade of the hostel building, supplemented by the lush greenery so that the building does not stick out with too much-built mass. Brick is used in a variety of ways in the entire structure; one of the most easily visible being as a jaali on the façade. Bricks jaalis are also used as a partition between the central courtyard and the peripheral area for ventilation and for the seating in the corridors and the play area. The South and West walls of the building are made with the rattrap bond to provide thermal comfort. The design primarily uses Indian stones such as Granite, Kota and Dholpur Stone, which were sourced locally to reduce the usage of resources and unnecessary transportation costs. Timber from old trees withering away on site was used to manufacture doors for the building. All the finishes and materials used in the building are low maintenance and affordable - paint and tiles, granite, laminates on the door - keeping in mind that the setting is to be used by young children.
ACP / Glass / Concrete: Saint Gobain / ACC
Sanitaryware / Fittings: Jaquar
Furnishing: Mr. Manhar Khurana
Air Conditioning: Toshiba
Paint: Asian paints
Arts / Artifacts: Envisage