Sitting atop numerous acres in the heart of the mystic Thar Desert in Rajasthan, India, stands The Rajkumari Ratnavati Girl’s School – a fantastical oval sandstone structure that blends seamlessly into the arid landscape. Set to open in July 2021, the school will serve more than 400 girls, from kindergarten to class 10, that live below the poverty line in the region where female literacy barely touches 36 percent.
▼视频，video © Vinay Panjwani
Rajkumari Ratnavati女子学校犹如沙漠之国杰伊瑟尔梅尔的一座灯塔，它的建立旨在改善当地社区的生活水平。学校建筑由当地工匠（通常是这些女孩们的父亲们）利用当地砂岩修筑而成，很快这里还将有两座新建筑落成，分别是“The Medha”，一个带有图书馆和博物馆的表演及艺术展览中心；以及女性联合会（The Women’s Cooperative）——当地女性可以在这里跟随工匠学习编织和刺绣技术。
Standing as a beacon in its desert kingdom of Jaisalmer, The Rajkumari Ratnavati Girl’s School was built to improve the lives of the community. Local craftsmen—often the fathers of the girls—built the school using local sandstone, and soon two more structures will be erected: The Medha – a performance and art exhibition space with a library and museum, and The Women’s Cooperative where local artisans will teach mothers and other women weaving and embroidery techniques from the region.
▼项目概览，general view © Vinay Panjwani
三座建筑落成之后将共同构成“GYAAN中心”，该综合体由纽约Diana Kellogg Architects事务所的建筑师Diana Kellogg担纲设计；委托方是非营利组织CITTA，该组织致力于为全球经济最困难、地理最偏远或最被边缘化的社区提供发展上的帮助。GYAAN中心还将为年轻女性提供受教育和走向独立的机会，并在全球范围内提高人们对于印度女性所面临的一系列问题的认知。
The complex of three buildings will be known as the GYAAN Center. Designed by New York City-based architect Diana Kellogg of Diana Kellogg Architects, the GYAAN Center was commissioned by CITTA, a non-profit organization that supports development in some of the most economically challenged, geographically remote or marginalized communities in the world. The GYAAN Center will equip young women with the tools to further their education and independence as well as raise awareness surrounding the issues faced by women in India on a global scale.
“Effective design is a process requiring deep understanding of the history of a place – its culture, its topography and its vernacular, said Diana Kellogg, Founder, Diana Kellogg Architects. “I wanted to create a building about light and community – a structure that resonates with the soul of its people and enforces the natural energies to nurture and heal the women and girls.”
▼Rajkumari Ratnavati女子学校坐落在印度拉贾斯坦邦神秘的塔尔沙漠中央 © Vinay Panjwani
The Rajkumari Ratnavati Girl’s School stands in the heart of the mystic Thar Desert in Rajasthan, India
Since the GYAAN Center is designed by a woman for women, Kellogg looked at feminine symbols across cultures when starting the design process – specifically symbols of strength, landing on a structure of three ovals to represent the power of femininity and infinity. From above, the breathtaking ellipse structure blends seamlessly into the planes of sand-dunes in the region of Jaisalmer, with striking curved walls reminiscent of Rajasthan’s famous forts.
▼鸟瞰：椭圆形结构与沙漠环境完美地结合在一起 © Vinay Panjwani
Aerial view: the breathtaking ellipse structure blends seamlessly into the planes of sand-dunes
Kellogg和她的团队十分重视建筑的可持续性，他们无偿地为GYAAN Center提供设计方案，并全程与当地工匠合作，利用来自杰伊瑟尔梅尔本地的砂岩建造出了第一座建筑，也就是现在的Rajkumari Ratnavatinv女子学校。
Sustainability was of utmost importance to Kellogg and her team, who designed the GYAAN Center pro bono and worked entirely with all local craftsmen to build the first structure – The Rajkumari Ratnavati Girl’s School – out of hand-carved Jaisalmer sandstone.
▼入口立面，entrance facade © Vinay Panjwani
▼内部庭院，courtyard © Vinay Panjwani
▼入口楼梯， entrance staircase © Vinay Panjwani
Inside the school, visitors are greeted by a sweeping staircase and a wall decorated with diyas, small stone flower medallions signifying each classroom and the donors for the project. Winding corridors lead you to classrooms, a computer center and a sprawling terrace, all donned with furniture made locally out of rosewood with classic Charpai woven seating. A parapet wall is also featured as a reinvention of the Jallis, screen walls traditionally used to hide women for privacy.
▼从走廊望向庭院，view to the courtyard from the corridor © Vinay Panjwani
▼庭院，courtyard © Vinay Panjwani
▼教室内部，classroom © Vinay Panjwani
▼通向屋顶的楼梯，the staircase leading to the roof © Vinay Panjwani
▼屋顶坡道，ramp on the roof © Vinay Panjwani
▼护墙从传统Jallis屏风中汲取灵感 © Vinay Panjwani
The parapet wall is featured as a reinvention of the Jallis
The design team followed the local ancient water harvesting techniques to maximize the rainwater and recycle gray water in the school. While the building is oriented to maximize the prevailing wind and keep maximum sunlight out, the team also employed solar panels for the lighting and fans in the building. A solar canopy on the roof with a metal framework doubles as a jungle gym with seesaws, swings and monkey bars for the girls.
Both the solar panel canopy and Jallis keep the heat out and the elliptical shape of the structure also helps bring aspects of sustainability, creating a cooling panel of airflow, in addition to passive solar cooling where temperatures peak close to 120 degrees. At the GYAAN Center, the wall allows air to flow through the building and keep the sun and sand out. A central structure weaves together The Rajkumari Ratnavati Girl’s School and The Women’s Cooperative, representing a blending of generations.
▼屋顶鸟瞰，aerial view to the roof © Vinay Panjwani
“Since the building was built for a non-profit to support girls’ education, every effort was made toward economic design, said Kellogg. “It was imperative that we incorporated authentic cultural elements, so the Center was a true representation of the region and its members.”
▼可栖居的墙壁，the inhabitable walls © Vinay Panjwani
印度著名的时装设计师Sabyasachi Mukherjee被邀请为Rajkumari Ratnavati女子学校的学生设计校服。她使用了当地一种名为“Ajrak”的传统布料，并采用天然染料和近代之前就出现的技术对布料进行印染。这些产品不仅能够反映该地区宝贵的手工艺遗产、突出其固有的美感与力量，更帮助当地居民树立起对家园的自豪感和互帮互助的集体意识。
Famed Indian fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee was tapped to create the uniforms for the students of The Rajkumari Ratnavati Girl’s School. Sabyasachi used Ajrak, a traditional textile from the region that is block-printed with natural dyes using a technique that predates modern history. They were made to reflect the region’s craft heritage to highlight the beauty and power inherent to the crafts, as well as provide a better sense of community, connection and pride for their home.
▼校服设计反映了该地区宝贵的手工艺遗产，the design of uniforms reflects the region’s craft heritage © Vinay Panjwani
The GYAAN Center will invite renowned female artists, designers and education advocates to create artwork, host events and present installations. Students will learn to read, write, and develop traditional artisan skills unique to the region. While girls are receiving an education at the Girls School, mothers and other women in the region will work with local artisans at The Women’s Cooperative. Exhibitions at The Medha will embody the importance of women’s empowerment, while drawing people to the center. The space will also periodically act as a marketplace to share the women’s creations with tourists venturing to the nearby dunes to experience the sunset. The education, independence, and empowerment women gain at the GYAAN center will, in turn, incentivize families to educate their daughters, bringing the benefit of the center full circle.
▼一座与“光明”和“集体”相联系的建筑，a building about light and community © Vinay Panjwani
▼在庭院里玩耍的女孩们，girls playing in the courtyard © Vinay Panjwani
CITTA创始人兼执行董事Michael Daube表示：“我们无比地感谢Diana Kellogg为学校项目的实现所付出的时间和优秀的创作力。学校对学生们的切实影响将改变人们对于女孩与妇女的能力的固有认知，这也是我们在长期努力的过程中所迈出的第一步。”
“We couldn’t be more appreciative to Diana for her time and artistry to make the school a reality,” said Michael Daube, Founder & Executive Director, CITTA. “To make a true impact for our students will mean changing attitudes of what girls and women are capable of. This is our first step in that effort.”
▼建筑外观，exterior view © Vinay Panjwani
▼鸟瞰，aerial view © Vinay Panjwani
More: Diana Kellogg Architects