School of Thought

Better Interiors|April 2020

School of Thought
Underpinned by a fresh outlook towards pre-primary education, the delightful GGIS Atha campus in Pune, created by Studio Infinity, encourages learning outside the classroom and provides myriad playful ways to keep young minds engaged and happy.
RUPALI SEBASTIAN

For an architect or designer, every project represents some learning, some incremental addition to the collective wisdom called experience. Some experiences make working on subsequent assignments easier… and some impact more fundamental aspects concerning credos and viewpoints. For interior designer Chiranjivi Lunkad and architect Tushar Kothawade, founders and principals of Pune-based Studio Infinity, it was the pre-primary school they designed in Thergaon, Pune, that brought home the fact that being user-oriented far outweighed being design-oriented.

It all began when GG International School approached them to design a pre-primary educational facility for about 80 to 100 students on a ground-plus-two-floors site, which was part of a commercial building abutting a large residential colony. Having worked with them earlier (on designing parts of other schools), the designer duo was well aware of the group’s philosophies and ideologies. What’s more, they were well aware of the site itself, owing to an earlier plan of setting up a restaurant in the same premises they’d worked on for the same clients — which was subsequently aborted owing to difficulties in obtaining requisite permissions.

Given the plethora of such ‘schools’ already running in every second bungalow and apartment building, the clients wanted the design to become a differentiator, a crucial USP that would set this educational facility apart from the rest of its ilk. “The client already having two operational schools, gave us a very clear brief for this new addition. She wanted a school that would stand out from the other pre-primary schools in the vicinity, so that the number of admissions could increase. Maximum utilisation of the space available across three floors and having child-friendly premises were her prime requirements,” Tushar tells us.

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April 2020