The video above should help you get an idea of what the building is like at the moment. At the moment construction has just finished on a concrete beam and slab roof over the single storey building. The new renovations give us an open plan downstairs, and a blank slate for us to design two floors above.
The building which was used for the past 6 years as the school, used to be a poultry farm and had four classrooms on either side of a courtyard. The small rooms were each lit by one small window, so consequently the interior was rather dark. The courtyard doubled up as an assembly hall and space was an issue along with large holes in the roof. The rain seeped through onto the electrics, which short-circuited over the surface of the walls.- not exactly the best standard of health and safety! The roof, which consisted of thin corrugated metal sheets, provided no protection against the hot sun, and this in combination with the lack of ventilation created an extremely hot interior climate during the warm seasons.
The space was obviously not ideal for a school, but even though the atmosphere was often uncomfortable, this never stopped the children from attending.
Today the school is run at its maximum capacity and children in need are turned down due to the lacking facilities. Anusaran finally has the possibility to expand and we are here to help them achieve that goal.
We have seen that the children and women loved the building as it was before, and although it was so terribly suited to being a school in so many ways, they talk almost nostalgically of packing into the one dry classroom together during storms and fanning each other with small hand fans during power cuts to try and keep cool. We just hope that we can understand the atmosphere of the place enough to provide them with a design that will come to feel like home, while addressing all the issues and practicalities.