Set on a sprawling site of 5.3 acres in New Delhi, The British School was built by Morphogenesis over two phases to accommodate between 650 and 1,300 students between the ages of 3-18 years and from 55 nationalities. Its design is inspired by the school’s tagline: ‘An international education with an Indian soul.’
The school houses classrooms, laboratories, sports facilities, an arts wing and a performing arts centre, along with several creatively designed open spaces that are liberally scattered throughout the premises. These multifunctional spaces are transformed in the way they are occupied, while optimising the built-up space.
Two key design strategies focus on minimum reliance on mechanical systems through planning. The building has reduced energy consumption by 50% by using traditional passive methods to temper the environment. These include perforated shading screens and scaled courtyards with lush plantation.
The spill-over plazas for the library and auditorium as well as the play courts lend a striking visual semblance to the school complex. Internal courtyards, chajjas (deep overhangs) and verandas help engage the students with environment and nature.
Some congregation spaces are inspired by traditional chaupals (outdoor gathering spaces) in India, and are designed with seating under the shade of mature trees.
Bio swales, rain gardens, a visible rainwater harvesting system and transplantation of existing old trees — all of these showcase the school’s conscious, demonstrative sustainability approach to students on a daily basis. Imaginative recreational areas and gardens blend in harmony with the building that is painted with swathes of colour alongside the school’s dominant white emblem.
The built and the un-built connect in a powerful assortment of spaces. With this project, Morphogenesis has provided a strong cultural context to the international format of educational buildings in India.
Project name: The British School
Location: New Delhi, India
Completion date: Phase I in 2014; Phase 2 in Aug 2016
Client: The British School Society
Built-up area: 2,97,000sqft
Site area: 5.3 acres
• Structure: Optimal Consultants
• HVAC, plumbing, electrical and firefighting: AECOM
• Landscape design: Design Cell
Photographers: Jatinder Marwaha & Randhir Singh