|Sharif Uddin Ahammed | STHAPOTIK
|Sector-4 , Uttara, Dhaka
|Little Wonder School
| From the architect |
We have just completed a kindergarten school for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder located at Uttara residential area of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Our goal was to provide enough space for children (ASD) with classroom and playground around the nature and also for all of their parents and nursing staff to feel safe considering limited budget and time.
The design is mainly developed bringing all the aspects of the site like existing structures, trees into consideration. Noted that the next plot is a 9 storied apartment just beside the north part of the site, which has been considered as a backdrop of the site and thus the roof is designed pitched rather than flat so that the diffused sunlight which is reflecting form the adjacent building can easily enter the classrooms. The main idea of keeping the existing structure is to reduce the cost and shorten the construction period. Point to be noted that the construction period of this building is only two months.
Now a days the schools of Dhaka city is literary ‘classrooms only’ with no field. So the zoning of this school building was very important and has undergone many thought process of which is the best fit at the beginning of the design process. Things that have been considered in the zoning process –
The project has been considered like a pavilion, which will be the unseparated part of the pavilion. And for that the classrooms have been arranged in such a way so that the students can utilize the interior space as an open field. Instead of walls on both sides of the room the Architect has designed a removable door in such way which is easily operable and connects with outer space. As well as the classrooms become self-sufficient in terms of light and air flow.
Total school is a ‘L’ Shaped building that holds a playground which is the most important design aspect of this project. The classroom required ample light so the roof has designed to bring the natural diffused light into the classroom. No bare wall is constructed to interfere the wind flow channel. Folding door has been designed through which the air passes naturally. In addition to that the openness gives the impression of a bigger classroom. The most important thing that has been considered is that we have tried to incorporate the sustainable aspect of Reuse, Reduce and Recycle in various terms.
The south west quarter of the site is used for entrance walkway, and the rest of the part is for classroom and playground. Placing rooms for class, teacher’s common room, library, therapy room, services and security in north-west and east corner and playground space achieves both simplicity and security according to contextual demand.
We have considered the existing structure for economic sustainability. Planting creepers along the outer edge of boundary wall which gives a sense of privacy and fencing, and keeping existing trees, and north and east corridor along the circle between them. Covered with the semi outdoor circulation and slop roof outside, its overall structure achieves to protect children’s pleasure with its strength.
Wall is designed with exposed brick keeping its original texture, doors have been made of wood, circulation floor has done with exposed brick and the classroom with colored NCF. Ceiling is totally made of bamboo with G.I sheet coverings. Window is also done with glass and metal. Point to be noted that each and every material’s embodied energy is low and locally found, so transportation cost is also helped into the overall cost cutting. The whole project is developed to create an environment friendly for the special children.
The ambition is to create a sense of belonging among residents and to inspire a process of continuing work in its environment. The project, due to its contextual and local specificities, has been developed through a participatory process with the community. Different teaching system and workshops with ASD students, teachers, and volunteers have been instrumental to bring this culturally different community to an exchange of ideas.
The school wall and openings is built with combination of metal, wood and bricks to achieve thermal balance inside its five classrooms. For thorough energy saving, we have allowed defuse sunlight, the spot garden to improve ventilation, the rooftop acts as vegetable garden for heat insulating of rooftop. From the perspective of ASD children education ,they find difficulties generally related to communication, social skills and sensory sensitivity, feeling everything around here, and nourish their sensibility and ability to think. The materials have been selected according to two main criteria: proximity and those following bioclimatic building principles and recovery / upgrade of traditional techniques. 100% of the materials of the project are local, they can all be found in the city, not imported.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROJECT
Site Area: 5872 sft
Year of Commencement: 25th October 2015
Year of completion: 30th December 2015
Project Duration: 2 months.
Project Cost in BD Taka: 16 lac.
Architect: Sharif Uddin Ahammed
Structure Designer: Taposh Kumar Banik
Interior Designer: Sharif Uddin Ahammed
Landscape Consultant: Sharif Uddin Ahammed
Associate Architect: Raisa Sadia
Civil Contractor: Shiraj Mia
Bamboo Contractor: Badsha Mia
Metal Contractor: Ataur
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