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Open Architecture Challenge Recognizes School for Salt Pan Community

Shital Shah
29th Jul 2009
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Finalists from the Open Architecture Challenge, which focuses on the need for better designed classrooms this year, were announced by Architecture for Humanity. Among the impressive finalists is a group from Gujarat under the Cohesion Foundation and Hunnarshala Foundation.

Cohesion Foundation works with salt pan workers in the desert region of Gujarat, called Kutch. These workers are mostly migrants, but often bring their wives and children with them. As a result, building a school for this community is necessary. The team has created a truly unique design for a school that takes into account the socioeconomic makeup of the students, the surrounding climate, and maintaining cultural identity.

The classroom for the salt pan community brief describes the various features, from its location on top of a sand dune to the use of a tensile roof for thermal comfort to its ability to turn into a funnel for harvesting rainwater.

The winning design team will be awarded $5,000 and the selected partner school will receive up to $50,000 to realize their design.

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