Iran-Khorasan-‘ Derakhte Toot ’ Village’s School
The school is located in a small village on the border between Iran and Afghanistan. Imagine a small village nestled in a mountain valley in the deep rugged mountains, where the sun is bright and the sky is clear blue on most days of the year. Life may be simple but hardworking is required to survive in this harsh desert climate. Children run barefoot through the sandy soil and chase each other in the narrow alleys between clay houses. Despite all the deprivations, education is still the main priority of families in this society.
Now imagine that someone offered them to build a new school, which would provide a solid foundation for their future and open doors to endless possibilities. This is exactly what happened in ‘Derakhte Toot’ Village, where our team was tasked with creating a primary school that would serve as a beacon of hope for future generations.
The design idea arose from the fact that we had to integrate functionality with beauty, education with playfulness, and modern innovation with traditional wisdom. Our solution was to divide the school into two floors:
We turned the ground floor into a covered park for the village people to gather around, which always has a lower temperature than its surroundings on hot days, so that the residents of the village can use it for celebrations and ceremonies on hot days, and it may be a resort for people who have no place to have fun, that’s why there is no wall on the bottom floor as a border with the outside so that people can easily access it at any time, also this space is used as a schoolyard and a playground for children. We also placed a library on the lower floor so that the teenagers of the village can use it and the old books of the village are stored there. On the second floor, we designed classes that are organized around a central courtyard, this central courtyard leads to two slides that work with the park floor, in fact, here education and play come together in the same quality. We chose thatching as the primary material of the project’s shell due to its abundance in the region and the unique environmental impact it has and we designed a dome and hole in which we can control the natural ventilation of classes and increase the brightness.
‘Derakhte Toot’ is a school that seamlessly combines modern technology and teaching methods with the rich history and traditions of the region. This school is playful like the back alleys of this village and have shadow. The use of arches in this project was to the legibility of space the space and gently connect the earth to the sky, students learn in a space that is a reflection of their own experiences, and this space connects them to the wider world beyond their village. With an emphasis on sustainability and cultural relevance, we aim to empower the next generation of young leaders to shape their destinies and positively contribute to society.