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  • SOLAR SCHOOL - 2012. - Zangla, India

    Sustainability and Csoma Kőrösi

    Building in one of the most inaccessible regions of the world, in a tibetan cultural area of North India is only possible during the few summer months. Construction had to take place at the height of 4000m, with volunteers, local people, from donations, without electricity.

     

    Csoma Kőrösi and Zangla

    Sándor Csoma Kőrösi wrote the first Tibetan-English dictionary and grammar book in an unheated small cell of the medieval royal palace at Zangla. The architectural design of the scholar school started at the winter of 2011 after being assigned by Csoma’s Room Foundation and it was performed in cooperation with them.

     

    Building Hungarian scholar school in the Indian Himalayas

    The aim was to establish a school containing four classrooms used by children from five villages surrounding Zangla, heated only by solar energy. The concept was based on the heritage of Zanskar architecture, following principles of contemporary sustainable design at the same time.

    A simple rational building had to be the result, since the available financial sources were raised from donations. An obvious solution was the linear alignment of four classrooms allowing construction works to be split into several phases. The uniqueness comes from the fact that the slope of the plot and the ideal orientation to reach a maximum heat gain during wintertime does not coincide, so the classrooms are placed in a staggered position. We designed these units to become sunspaces in the first phase, but in the future they can be improved also by using optimized thermal storage walls based on latter experiences. Economic development of the local community was a main intention as well, besides using local materials (adobe, stone) in a sustainable way and reviving traditional knowledge of craftsmanship.

    All four classrooms of the school were finally finished after the third summer of construction coordinated by Csoma’s Room Foundation involving local builders and volunteers.