Cool School, Mongolia

Winning Entry to the Building Trust International Competition 2015: Our proposal aims to help contribute in providing essential education facilities for 12,000 children of Khovd and for its future generations. An increasing population has caused the Tsast Altai school to become overcrowded and in need of expansion. Over the years the old school has also fallen into ilapidation, still without indoor toilets and the remaining of run down storage/warehouse facilities. The proposal is for a new extension to be built to provide much needed facilities for the 550 primary school children of Tsast Altai. The aim is help create a building which responds to the freezing climate, constraints of the site and the social and cultural context producing a well designed learning environment for 100 pupils.

The new extension incorporates the functions of two new class rooms with three integrated toilets, a ‘learning hub ‘(multi-functional room), storage and renovating of the existing store to provide more indoor toilets for the whole school. The experience of learning begins upon arrival on the school site, by the pedestrian access the volume of the hub stands proud. The 78m2┬áhub provides a facility that the local community would own and be able to identify with, a ‘community learning hub’. The approach adjacent to the hub becomes a secondary entrance/exit that supports the main entrance which provides separate and immediate access to the ‘learning hub’. Through its architectural form it creates a sense of safety, enabling natural, passive upervision. In principle, the response to the brief is achieved through the way learning areas, entrance related areas and the circulation areas have been integrated. Incorporating the existing facilities into the scheme such as the library and the small external store/toilet creates a well integrated school with an improved learning environment.