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Architecture studio SpaceMatters, got an opportunity of redeveloping 100 schools for sites across Odisha as part of the school infrastructure development project, Odisha. The facilities will be designed as part of the program with an end result of around 100 schools being built for holistic and community learning spaces for children. It provides an opportunity to transform the education system of the government schools by adding a value through experiential architecture.

By approaching the schools as more than just a space to impart education, it unlocks its potential as per the usage of the community. A learning and activity space for the children, a gathering space for the communities for celebrations and communal activities, whereas for government it acts as a space to conduct elections and a mass vaccination centre. The infrastructure is re-imagined acting as a catalyst for the villages to transform the schools into spaces enabling productive activity.

The schools have similar layout but adapted to each of the 100 sites, which are located across the whole state, as per site and climatic constraints. The schools are spread over different rural and urban settings across the state. The design scheme embraces different strategies such as joyful and creative, interactive spaces, nature inclusive, context respective, sensory rich and climate responsive, which is able to conform to each unique built environment and ecosystem of the site.

Two storeys structure sits on the ground linearly with cores acting as pivot points for the built mass. The long open corridors spill out into courtyards or central open and green space for interaction and play for active learning of the children. Each school comprises of classrooms, laboratories, library, toilets and administration. Alongside the primary functions, the buildings also comprise of multipurpose hall, kitchen and dining hall for communal interaction

The project focuses on installing new smart technology within the schools to improve education infrastructure as well as learning as an activity. The project promotes sustainable livelihood opportunities to the local labour. Through tactile approach, a sensory rich environment is imagined to transform the young minds into creative spaces of knowledge.

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