In the Border Securtiy Force (BSF) campus of Gandhinagar, the Swadhyay Reading Room, designed for the children of BSF wards, sits nestled amidst a beautiful green canopy. Mimicking the ancient ashram tradition of studying under the trees, the simple, relatable form, both in terms of its spatial arrangement as well as its structural form, adds a layer of cover to the vibrant setting. The 160 square meter project was constructed in a short span of ten weeks, made possible by the efforts of a dedicated construction team, and a design that is optimized for speed. The building comprises of two parts: a heavy, articulated ground and a light, traditional yet modern eccentric shade perched upon it. The undulating brick plinth clad with kadappa stone holds users close to ground, merging with built-in tables and benches. A ventilated roof sits atop a steel framework, with extended eaves to protect the plinth, and a series of geothermal earth tubes draw air in through the ground, maintaining the structure's coolness. In addition to that, a mezzanine floats above brightly coloured bookshelves, accessed through a camouflaged stair. Planks of pine wood, hemmed in with rope nets for relaxed reading, adds to the playful vibe. As the dusk approaches, the vivid space inside reveals itself through the sheltered glass, inviting the children in, to read.Project Environmental and Comfort Strategies: The structure uses geothermal earth tubes that draws air from the ground, keeping the interior of the structure cool. These are a simple system that uses a ventilation fan to draw fresh air through an extended intake that passes three meters underground, cooling the air through passive convection as it moves along the tube. Resting under the canopies of trees, the reading room is sited so that the additional layer of shade can increase the effectiveness of passive cooling strategies in the building. This allows the building to maximise performance will still maintaining a frugal budget. The roof uses an assembled roofing system, which allows the structure to be light-weight and therefore use less material overall, while still giving good water proofing performance, and controlling temperature better than a typical GI sheet roof.

Constructed, 2018