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Maharishi Vidya Mandir

Maharishi Vidya Mandir School is a CBSE school building in Periamet, Chennai. The school is designed for about 2400 children. The efficiencies of designing and constructing a building had to be balanced with what we believed in: creating a warm, playful and welcoming environment for these young children that would be filled with natural light and ventilation. The key objective of the project is to provide the children with a suitable environment to learn and explore.




7500 Sq.m


Publications : Archdaily

The 1.6-acre site is surrounded by dense residential apartments, a veterinary college, commercial shops, and Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.  The majority of the site faces east and west. Existing trees within the site boundary were retained during design. A copper pod and a millettia pinnata tree in the building footprint area were accommodated in the design.

The building footprint was envisaged to take advantage of the predominant wind direction i.e. south east. As the residential tower occupying the eastern periphery casts a shadow on the site, the playground for the children was located there. A play area for Kindergarten children was located in the west as it would be shaded by the school building in the morning hours. The finger-like form of the building allows most of the openings to be placed on the North and South exclusively, leaving the west facade bereft of any openings.

A high-volume space was created at the entry of the building to provide a sense of arrival to the users. A corridor overlooking the upper floors lends this space to enhance the experience. This leads to a covered verandah that acts as a stage opening out to the playground, which is also a congregational plaza for the students during morning assembly. This arrangement makes full use of the ambient south breeze that blows through this space all the time. 

The atrium space was provided near the staircase at the first floor to create a dynamic and stimulating interior with ample skylight and good air movement. The courts in between the fingers-formed classrooms act as extensions of the play areas for the KG children while providing natural daylight.

Form Evolution

The classroom is a space where children spend most of their time. It is illuminated with natural light and provides good ventilation. To reduce noise from the corridor, a 750mm buffer zone made from cuddapah stone was created. It was utilized for storing books and school bags. The space above this wall has openable windows that allow cross ventilation.

The facade acts as a building skin protecting it from the harsh sunlight and the roosting of pigeons. The fly ash bricks were custom-made with 50mm height to prevent bird entry. To reduce bird nesting on the window, an inclined stone was placed above the slab projection. The brick jali is 100mm wide and allows entry of diffused light. A few framed panels painted in primary colours provide relief in the facade as well as a framed view for every classroom

Facade Detail

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