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Faculty Residences Embracing Nature's Beauty at The Doon School

The Doon School, an esteemed private boarding school, has a rich history of 82 years and is nestled in the scenic foothills of the Himalayas in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. The school's sprawling 70-acre campus was originally a botanical garden and now serves as a nurturing home to around 500 students, predominantly boys, and approximately 50 dedicated teaching staff. At the core of the school's ethos is the special bond between the teachers and their students, which is akin to a filial relationship. The teachers actively engage with their wards not only in the classroom but also in academic, pastoral, and co-curricular guidance.

Over the years, the school has evolved its pedagogy and infrastructure to meet the changing needs of education. The campus boasts a blend of architectural styles, ranging from colonial to modern and postmodern, with multiple academic, extracurricular, dormitory, and residential structures dotting the lush landscape. Two expansive playfields offer breathtaking views of the architecture amidst the verdant surroundings.

To further enhance the residential facilities for the faculty, the school designed 18 residences, each covering about 223 square meters, spread across two separate sites. Dehradun experiences a composite sub-tropical climate with a particularly wet monsoon. While the campus's tree cover helps alleviate the summer heat, managing solar thermal gain through the roofs remains a challenge. However, during winters, sitting in the bright sun provides relief from the crisp chill in the air. The monsoon season brings torrential rains driven by strong southeasterly winds.

The faculty residences are thoughtfully organized in staggered rows, oriented from East-Southeast to West-Northwest, to preserve existing sightlines and conserve land. Four residences share a staircase, promoting a sense of community. The shift in residential typology from stand-alone villas with private gardens to walk-up apartments with shared greens allows for greater accessibility and interaction between teachers and students.

Architecturally, the residences have a simple and unimposing design, characterized by gabled volumes that are staggered to integrate existing trees into the layout. A shared service attic beneath the pitched roofs helps reduce heat gain on the upper floors, while raised water tanks act as turrets to create hydraulic head. Shaded balconies at the corners serve as sit-outs for bedrooms, and the living room extends onto a recessed verandah sit-out.

The design pays homage to the existing architectural style of the campus, using red terracotta tiles on the facades and lighter yellow terracotta in the recesses. "Portal" frames, expressed in light sandstone, add a touch of elegance to the sit-outs and fenestrations.

The Teachers’ Housing project at the Doon School aims to foster a more sociable and interconnected residential lifestyle for the faculty while preserving the campus's beauty and natural surroundings. The design aligns with the campus's material palette and emphasizes elemental articulations. By staggering volumes and creating spacious and well-lit homes, the project successfully reduces its overall scale, ensuring that the faculty members feel more connected to the vibrant life of the campus.

Firm's Name: Anagram Architects

Design Team: Madhav Raman, Vaibhav Dimri, Shruti Dimri

Project Name : Teachers' Residences at The Doon School

Date of commencement: May 2014

Year of completion : May 2016

Built-up area: 45,000 sqft

Estimated project cost: 1643631 USD

Final project cost : 1613746 USD

Structure Engineer – Arohi Consultants

Electrical Consultants – Squaretech Engineers

Plumbing & Fire Fighting – DSR Engineers

Contractor – KK Sethi

Photo Credit – Suryan//Dang


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