CHACHA NEHRU SCHOOL
Hariharpur, India, 2013.
Chacha Nehru School was WORKSHOP architecture's second project in India, and took place in partnership with the Indian Trust for Rural Heritage and Development (ITRHD) and the British Council. The aim for the project was to explore low-cost, socially sustainable architecture in the context of Hariharpur, a small village in rural Uttar Pradesh. Although under-developed, Hariharpur has a unique tradition of classical music, and ITRHD is striving to protect and promote this valuable cultural heritage through the provision of basic infrastructure – including health, education and sanitation. The studio worked directly with the community to design and construct a small school building that could act as a prototype for contemporary rural architecture in India. It is the first phase of a larger master plan that includes a health center, theatre and exhibition space.
Together with the teachers of the school, parents, local artisans and craftspeople, the design and construction of the school was an opportunity to learn from vernacular building methods, reinterpreting and evolving them to create a building which addresses today’s needs and aspirations. Using every step of the research, design and building process to trigger small positive change within the village of Hariharpur, the ultimate aim was to build a strong sense of collaboration, ownership and pride within the community.
The Chacha Nehru School project was led by Clementine Blakemore, Alexander Furunes and Ivar Tutturen of WORKSHOP architecture.