Jaisalmer: Would you imagine a school in the middle of a desert? Soaring temperatures would barely let one stay at the same place for a little time. Going to a school would obviously be unbearable.
But, Rajkumari Ratnavati Girls’ School is not your regular school building. A structure that could be conveniently called an architectural marvel, it is built with locally cut yellow sandstone. The school is visually impressive, with an oval-shaped structure.
Surprisingly, there is no accommodation of air conditioning to make a school functioning in that climate. How does it work, then? US-based architect Diana Kellogg, who was roped in by Michael Daube, the founder of a non-profit CITTA, explains how.
The elliptical shape of the structure also helps bring aspects of sustainability. “The canopy and the jalis filter the sand. They keep the sun and heat out. The pattern of airflow inside the building naturally cools it down,” she was quoted as saying to The Better India.
It took Daube and Kellogg more than ten years to conceptualise and build the school.
The structure features stunning lattice walls and vented ceilings, is a work of art. The school, which is located in Konai hamlet near the Pakistan border, attracts a large number of tourists.
Girls from families below the poverty line in the area will be accepted into the school, according to the CITTA website. Classrooms, a library, a computer center, and a bus stop are among the amenities.
In addition to offering education to 400 girls, midday meals will be supplied. A textile museum, exhibition space, and a textile museum are all part of the complex.
Mothers of school girls will be trained in weaving and textiles in a separate building. Classes are expected to begin soon at the school. It will give education up to class 5 and then be upgraded to class 10 in the future.