How this school in the Indian desert manages to stay cool despite the intense heat

Temperatures can reach about 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius) at the height of summer in the north Indian. Desert town of Jaisalmer, popularly referred to as “The Golden City” for its assortment of yellow sandstone architecture.

The Rajkumari Ratnavati Girls’ School create by New York architect Diana Kellogg. In accordance with a tradition where structures have long been made to withstand the heat.

The project is commission by CITTA, a US non-profit organization that offers economic and educational support to women. In rural and underserve communities, with the goal of empowering women and In a part of India. Where female literacy is the lowest, girls are being educate. It is the first stage of a three-part architectural project. That also includes an exhibition space and a women’s cooperative center.

The eco-friendly sandstone school, which open in November 2021 and was name the 2020 “Building of the Year”. By Architectural Digest India, now has 120 girls enroll in its program, according to Kellogg.


Organic cooling
In the middle of the Thar desert, where climate change is lengthening and intensifying drought spells, designing a suitable learning space can be difficult. A trip to Jaisalmer in 2014 inspired Kellogg, who often builds high-end projects. He intended the building to combine traditional Jaisalmer architectural elements with modern elements to represent the hope and tenacity of the desert.

“There are techniques for cooling rooms that have been practice for millennia. The school’s internal temperatures are about 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than the outside, according to Kellogg, who added that he combined them in a way that works.

She chose to build the structure out of locally obtain sandstone, which has been use for buildings in the area for centuries and is climate durable. This includes the Jaisalmer Fort, a region of the city that is home to a quarter of its population and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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