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HOK Partners with Yuva Unstoppable on the Design of New Primary School Oka Mumbai

Philanthropic project will create safe and inspiring learning space for up to 200 students.

Under the auspices of HOK Impact, its corporate social responsibility program, HOK’s London studio has helped shape the design of a new primary school in Mumbai, India. The design team collaborated closely with leaders from Yuva Unstoppable, an organization dedicated to improving education infrastructure across India. Located in the district of Kharghar on the edge of the rapidly expanding city of Mumbai, the coeducational school will be a safe and inspirational place for up to 200 students. Currently under construction, the project is scheduled for completion this summer.

The project team conducted site studies, provided architectural concept development, sustainability analysis and landscape design for the 660-sq.-m. (7,100-sq.-ft.) building, which is being built on existing school grounds.

Simplicity, practicality, affordability, and sustainability were the foundational tenets of HOK’s approach to the design. The two-story building features eight classrooms and two open-air verandas that run the length of the facade. Red brick and concrete comprise the main material components. Jali screens along the southern elevation will support natural ventilation and reflect the local architectural vernacular.

The climate- and site-responsive design focuses on simplicity and includes no mechanical ventilation or plumbed water. The flexible design will allow for future adaptation such as PV panels or plumbing systems. HOK’s in-house sustainability experts performed extensive environmental and climate analysis of the site to optimize thermal comfort while balancing daylight and mitigating solar heat gain. Solar shading over the facade and verandas reduces heat within the classrooms.

The landscape includes a Welcome Garden, Kitchen Garden (utilizing harvested rainwater) and play area. This enhanced landscape is designed to encourage both student activity and community engagement. The covered rooftop provides a flexible, open-air space for additional teaching and learning.

“HOK’s engagement with Yuva Unstoppable has given our team members a unique opportunity to contribute to the most fundamental basis of design: to improve the human condition in a sustainable manner,” said Daniel Hajjar, managing principal of HOK’s London studio. “It is tremendously rewarding to see this project come to fruition knowing its users will benefit from the efforts of our team. Not only did our team contribute, but they had the privilege of being enriched by the students and project team.”

‘We at Yuva Unstoppable are grateful for the support and encouragement we have received from partners such as HOK and One Kind Act,” said Amitabh Shah, founder of Yuva Unstoppable. “The school’s sustainable, climate-responsive design will serve as a benchmark and encourage others to follow suit. This project is an amalgamation of great minds and hearts that will see the creation of a safe and happy haven of education for hundreds of students.”

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