Educational Design
Primary school design for rural Pakistan
We are a charitable organisation and are planning to establish primary schools in rural areas of Pakistan. We have tried to see the work of some local architects which was horrible - no creativity or any sense for even environment. Can someone help us to find some model and innovative designs suitable for rural areas.
Mahmood Hassan
Primary school design for rural Pakistan
I believe it is very critical to look at the school building as a learning environment that translates specific educational objectives into three dimensional forms.

Building responsive schools that are conducive to learning requires that those who actually dwell in the space be part of the planning process (students, teachers, parents, and community members). Not involving people in the process, can cripple the outcome for years to come.

I realize the context in which you are designing and developing these schools, but it would be very useful to have a look at the following web sites. They have excellent information on learning environments, that integrate educational specifications and the behavioral aspects of children into the physical environment.

- School Design Research Studio of the University of Wisconsin-Madison

- The International Forum of Innovative Schools

- School Design and Planning Laboratory of the University of Georgia
Ashraf Salama
Primary school design for rural Pakistan
Hello, why not hold a competition? You'll probably get a lot of inputs an new ideas. The projects might even solve problems you haven't thought about... I think that could definitely be a first step to take. cheers,
Enrico Botta
Primary school design for rural Pakistan
Mr. Hassan,
I must give you credit for recognizing and acknowledging the problem. Proper environment for educational institutions is absolutely critical. I agree with the earlier two responses. First and foremost you should seek help in clearly definig and developing a Program (design brief) for your school(s). Not only you must identifiy what you need in terms of spaces and types of spaces; and making sure that the these spaces allow you to achieve your objectives as a primary school, and in imparting the quality of education that you envision. This could be done with the help of an archtect in consultation with teachers and administration of your school. This process may help uncover issues that you may have not considered as yet. You can even go to the extent of defining what must be achieved and what should be avoided in the design.

Having a Program will create a level field to invite architectural solutions either through design competition or individually, where you can use a uniform yardstick to evaluate the solutions. The emphasis should be that the design should respond to the mission and the function of the project, and equally important is the response to the indigenous physical conditions and overall project economics. Going through this process will allow you and your faculty to have a control on the functionality of the architectural solution while the architects will offer their creativity in responding to meet your program requirements.

Some of the standards developed in the western countries directly respond to the academic mission and the prevailing education standards. Although some requirements are universal and could be adopted. But we need to be careful as to what we pick.

I will be very interested to know how you finally go about implementing your project.

Good Luck!
Amir Pirani
Primary school design for rural Pakistan
Thanks for your response. These have been very helpful. I should appreciate it very much if someone could send me sample design brief or some other material you may have prepared for such a project. Although we appreciate and understand the importance of the points raised but we lack any relevant experience, expertise and skills. (as per my experience same is the case, probably worst, with most of NGOs, who end up spending lts of money on useless school designs.

A London based professional has agreed to look into how he can help (but if you are able and willing to help, do not hesitate to contact).

I will keep the forum members updated on the progress so it may be of help to others in situation like ours.
Mahmood Hassan
Primary school design for rural Pakistan
surely,i am from india,and acn very well design for rural needs in terms of the micro climate,macroclimate,n the regional architecture also in terms of vernacular style,locan influences etc
kindly send ur site n ur details of requirements.
Abdur Rauf
Primary school design for rural Pakistan
I dont have any idea...
Just need jobs in architecture. Now I am asst manager in steel fabric
Dedy Lasso
Primary school design for rural Pakistan
Mr. Mahmood Hassan.
If you are planning to establish primary schools in rural areas of Pakistan, then first of all you must need to get the idea of indeginous materials used and vernacular Architecture in detail, because very different techniques are being used in the rural areas of Pakistan due to the difference in the material availabilty, and climate.
Aleem Khan Afridi
Primary school design for rural Pakistan
Just wanted to share photograph of children at the Ujala Primary School we are discussing. This is Tahera Anjum, 8. Her father died three years ago leaving behind 5 children. Her mother had to move to this village as she was unable to survive with 600 rupees ($10) per month of her husband's pension. There was no school in the village so the children had to stop their studies. Islamic Aid helped the family buy goats and they are now able to earn their living. When Islamic Aid last year started this school in the village, the children and their mother were extremely happy and 3 of them, alongwith other 102 poor children, are getting free education, books, clothes, healthcare at the school. For further details about Islamic Aid, please visit
Mahmood Hassan
Primary school design for rural Pakistan
Could you please provide further details.
R Gul
Primary school design for rural Pakistan
I just wanted to comment on some of the answers mentioned above.

I do not agree with the idea of a competition for low-income communities in rural Pakistan. My experience as a jury member in several UIA-international competitions shows that competitions work as "idea generation mechanism" for monumental projects. Competitions also work for cultural, commercial, ....and many types of projects. However, they do not work for SERVICE PROJECTS or COMMUNITY PROJECTS, if they are really going to be built.

SERVICE or COMMUNITY projects need familiarity with the context, being close to the population, understanding their real needs, real involvement of this population into the decision making process about shaping their environment and their future.

I completely agree with Mr. Pirani, about the value of the program in shaping the learning environment.

I believe before thinking about climate, materials, vernacular styles, there is an urgent need for thinking about "TEACHING and LEARNING." How learning will take place? what are the innovative teaching methods? what is the mode of communication between teachers and children/students, what values we need to imbibe to this population?....many questions need to be asked and answered seriously. Answers to those questions and others can be translated into the school physical form.

I am not against talking about climate, material, vernacular styles, aesthetics of schools, or other physical aspects of rural Pakistan, but all of these issues need to be prioritized. What needs to be considered first is a key to the success of a SERVICE project.

One more website that is helpful in linking the way we think about teaching/learning, and the physical environment that supports this thinking is below:
Ashraf Salama
Primary school design for rural Pakistan
Could you please send me site details. I am doing my masters and would like to cotribute whatever I can to this worty cause.
R Gul
Primary school design for rural Pakistan
Mr. Hassan,
I am curious to know the progress of your project(s) in Pakistan. More specifically, what approach did you end up adopting for design and construction of these schools.
Amir Pirani
Primary school design for rural Pakistan

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Garima Kapoor
Primary school design for rural Pakistan
dear sir,
I am a student of architecture 4th year from Pakistan and i would like to help you design a primary school.
kindly let me know if i can be of any help....
thank you,
Syed Jani Mir Shah


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