New concepts in pedagogy demands new architectural ideas. We’ve harmonised the freedom of clustered spaces and the unlimited security of the inbound architectural design in the construction of the Oxford Calicut School. TOSC’s design features the characteristics of a school building that is safe, exiting, inviting, caring and progressive. The design optimises the experiential space of the school interior to the maximum. A school, in our concept, is a micro-society that holds a direct relationship to the future societies in making.
The spatial concept of the Oxford School Calicut is bringing students of different grades, age groups and teachers of the school together. However the school building treats the similar grades as separate entities to keep the individuality of each grade intact. The individual clusters- Kindergarten, Primary School, High School, and Secondary School- behave like small communities of leaning and they are easily divided into academic units.
The Oxford School Calicut building materialises this spatial concept through a nine square design. Without altering the contours of the original land, the construction utilises the slop of the hill to build the terraces of buildings. The design itself support the concept of clusters that school can easily allot different levels to different grades. We have accommodated the school administration at the ground level and the next level is allocated for the kindergarten section. Higher levels of the school building are occupied by higher classes in their ascending order of sequence.
The low-rise, two storey design in nine interconnected blocks or levels integrates 48 classrooms and the spectacular amphitheatres. The amphitheatres are the spaces for both learning and extra-curricular activities. It is the most ‘active-space’ of the school that facilitate ‘the moments of merry and memory’ that the students cherish long after their time at the school. Two levels are connected to each other through an amphitheatre and these are the shortest ways to proceeding levels. Amphitheatres at different levels are connected through steps. However, from the cosy school entrance, students can also follow a ramp route to reach different levels.
School corridors once were the places strictly served the purpose of passage. Nevertheless, at the Oxford School Calicut we have reinterpreted the old tradition of Kerala ‘Varandas’ or corridors to make it a breathing and relaxing space around the class rooms. We have used a double loaded corridor concept that allows easy circulation of children and act as spaces of informal learning and exchange- like the display of works, expression of ideas etc. TOSC’s corridors by design bring different spaces of the overlooking terraces and encourage interactions.
TOSC’s classrooms challenges the expectation from a conventional classroom. The kindergarten classrooms are designed to kindle creativity in the minds of the toddlers. These classrooms are designed with various shapes such as cylinders, cubes, rectangles etc. The walls of these classrooms are made of boxes which can be used as utility spaces to store personal items or the spaces that can be utilised for playful activities. The school features indoor basketball court, shuttle badminton court, swimming pool etc. for the physical development of children. We have a turfed playground for other sports like football and athletics.
The overall construction of the school is set to utilise the air, sunlight and the landscape which is lush green palm tree plantation. Every levels features wind towers which catch the flowing wind and circulate it throughout the block. It helps to maintain a cool and soothing atmosphere inside the building throughout the year. The blocks are provided with optimum number of openings in the sealing- paved on the top with glasses and below through grills. It helps to utilise the natural light to reach every corner of the building.
TOSC is a space of the passion for learning and teaching. We are tying connections and offering a room to gain and share. Conventional school spaces are reconfigured and are equipped with functional and fictional elements- like the functional walls in Kindergarten, colour identity, expressive amphitheatres, corridors and the concept of clusters.