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How this school in the desert stays cool even in extreme heat without air conditioning!

08.11.2022 05:38 AM
How this school in the desert stays cool even in extreme heat without air conditioning!
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How this school in the desert stays cool even in extreme heat without air conditioning!

Students in India brave the 45-degree Celsius temperatures to attend classes, even though their school is located in the heart of the Thar Desert.

However, Rajkumari Ratnavatim Girls School, as the school is called, does not require air conditioning as its unique and sustainable design stay cool. This is interesting, because in Jaisalmer, northwest India, only a third of women and girls can read and write.


Staff at the Rajkumari School, which has more than 400 students between the ages of 4 and 16, hopes to raise the alarming statistics.

Thanks to the school's unique oval building, they can study in peace despite the scorching temperatures and regular sandstorms. The building was designed by New York-based architect Diana Kellogg.


“As an architect who designs for women, I see a cross-cultural female symbol and especially one of strength,” Kellogg told Architectural magazine Design, citing Euronews on June 12.

“I ended up landing an oval that represented femininity and it resonated with me as an infinity formula. I knew I wanted to create buildings that simultaneously blended and grew out of the landscape, like Jaisalmer sandstone.”


The 836 square meter structure is sustainable, as well as symbolic. A large exterior wall wraps around the school. While the interior walls surround the classroom. In the middle, there is a large oval courtyard.

The building is powered by solar panels on the roof, which also serve as a shading canopy. It is cooled by a geothermal system, with lime plaster on the interior walls that keep it insulated.


Jalis (perforated lattice stone) protects students from sandstorms that hit the area, while still letting in natural sunlight. Meanwhile, the water harvesting system collects and recycles rainwater throughout the school.

The designers wanted the entire community to benefit from the school. Built by local builders using local sandstone, it is the first in a planned complex of three buildings.


Dubbed the Geant Center, the center will host the MEDA Museum, an art performance and exhibition space with a library and museum. The three buildings will also contain the Women's Cooperative, a study room where local artisans will teach weaving and embroidery techniques to women.

The project was launched by CITTA, a US non-profit organization dedicated to supporting development in "some of the world's most economically challenging, geographically remote or marginalized communities".

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