Over the Weather
Architecture Design, International Competition
Schooling under extreme weather
This is an international design competition held by "Building Trust International". The challenge aims at finding an innovative school design proposal that can withstand the extreme winter weather of Mongolia.
Our team took various factors, including environmental conditions, materials, space, accessibility, and adaptability, into consideration, and came up with the design "Over the Weather".
Tai-Yuan Huang, Esther Jan
Architectural designer in a team of two.
The site of this challenge is located in Khovd City, which is the capital of the Khovd Province of Mongolia. The school currently supports the primary education for 550 children. However, the existing architecture is very old, dilapidated and has no indoor toilet, forcing children to use outdoor facilities even in the chilliest months. Furthermore, due to the size of the existing indoor space, children have to go to another school for physical education in all seasons, whether cold or warm.
Images: existing rundown school, Jargalant Soum, Shoved, Mongolia (Picture from Building Trust International)
From the site photos, we can examine clearly that the school lacks a space where children can participate in activities while avoiding exposure to the inclement weather.
We created a place where children are allowed to satisfy their curiosity by freely exploring the world, and do not have to worry about the drastic changes in weather. We have also integrated the expressed needs and attributes of the existing architecture into our design process, and thus the new design will be complementary to the existing structure.
Through the sequence of spaces it takes the users in a journey through motional and statical spaces. With the arrangement of the windows and voids, a sense of openness and abundant of natural light is present in the whole building. Through the experience in the building, the narrative of spaces is a combination of elements consisted by the condition of the site's location.
01 Sun Route
The building has a sloped roof with two different angles, which creates various paths for daylight to enter the rooms, creating a bright and comfortable atmosphere.
Yurt is the traditional residence for Mongolians, designed to adapt to Mongolia's weather. The traditional yurt structure has a hole in the roof, serving as a sky roof to enable air ventilation. We transform the "sky roof" element inside the middle of the expansion, allowing indoor activities to interact with different floors.