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HAPPY FEET - A School for Burmese refugee, Thailand

Winning entry of Competition organized by Building Trust International

Design idea- Understanding the ground realities in such a critical site context for the given brief of school, the first few obvious thoughts that we wish to materialized on are,


  1. A school, of the people, for the people, by the people, insuring a fully independent model for the refugee’s sites

  2. Low cost with local material using local labours, insuring minimizing investment cost

  3. Homogeneous in terms of material but visually advanced. A metaphor for growth and advancement keeping the root intact

  4. Using basic design principles of anthropometric/scale along with simple striking colors thus naturally creating a welcoming feel towards knowledge institution in the young minds.

  5. We believe that learning should not be restricted to a classroom but it should splurge into a open court breathing fresh air

  6. Introducing sustainability not just as a concept for building construction but molding the young minds to adopt it as a way of life.


Design strategies

  1. Separating the classrooms from the amenities and further separating two classrooms by a shaded courts, insuring a secured & undisturbed learning environment

  2. Humanizing the scale of spaces to 8 feet, openings to 4 feet

  3. Local material, conventional techniques insuring easy buildability

  4. Use of repetitive modular components for defining functional spaces which are easy to erect, dismantle & re-erect.

  5. Multifunctional congregational spaces avoiding duplication thus reducing footprint & construction cost

  6. Use of  passive solar strategies & taking advantage of local climate make it climatic responsive structure

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