- Sustainable Architecture
- Abin Design Studio and The Newtown School in Kolkata, India
How can you give a learning facility with its generic architectural volumes placed around central courtyards its own identity and make it attractive enough to engage students?
For the architects from Abin Design Studio , the answer lies in a project that mixes pure architectural elements such as the study of spaces, movements and ventilation in an overall synergy. Their purpose was to create a unique identity for the local school that would also be recognisable from the outside.
Newtown in Kolkata - better known to us as Calcutta and capital of West Bengal - is a rather anonymous district, and the work of Abin Design Studio has become a true urban landmark. The school buildings were clad in 488 Fibre-Reinforced Plastic (FRP) panels, some of which design letters of the alphabet, numbers and symbols, creating a bespoke stencil screen that also acts as a sunshade.
The Kolkata climate - scorching sun and pouring rain - made it necessary to provide a covered walkway in the courtyards so these spaces can be used throughout the year. Still, this does not adversely impact on the pathways between indoors and out.
The neutral colours of the cladding and the building materials contrast with the brightly coloured hallways and panels around the doors, which give the school personality and help students find their way around.
The Newtown School by Abin Design Studio is an example of how a project attentive to architectural styling can clearly improve not only the use of the building, but also the appropriation of the project by the local community.
Façade, Interiors and Landscape Design and Architectural Intervention: Abin Design Studio
Location: Kolkata, West Bengal
Area: 15,000 sq.m.
Status: Completed in April, 2015
Client: Savitri Educational Foundation
Images: Courtesy of Abin Design Studio