Over the Weather
Architecture Design, International Competition
Schooling under extreme weather
This is an international design competition held by the institution "Building Trust International". The challenge aimed to find an innovative school design proposal that can withstand the extreme Mongolian winters.
By combining the consideration of environmental conditions, materials, space, accessibility, and adaptability, we 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, the capital of the Khovd Province of Mongolia. The school currently facilitates 550 children's primary school education. However, the existing architecture is very old, dilapidated and has no indoor toilets, forcing children to use outdoor facilities even in the coldest months. Furthermore, due to the scale of existing indoor space, children have to go to another school for physical education despite cold and warm seasons.
Images: existing rundown school, Jargalant Soum, Shoved, Mongolia (Picture from Building Trust International)
From the site photos, we can examine clearly that the school is lacking of a space where children can take on activities without avoiding to expose in the inclement weather condition.
We created an additional architecture where it can allow children to enjoy the changes in weather, nature, and also a place where they can approach the world with their curiosity. Taking the expressed needs and the attributes of the existing architecture into consideration, the new design is formed as a complement to the existing school house.
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. The various directions of daylight give the rooms a vivid and comfortable atmosphere.
Yurt has been the traditional living space under Mongolia's weather. The traditional yurt structure has a hole in the roof, serving as a sky roof to help in air ventilation. We transform the "sky roof" element inside the middle of the expansion, allowing the indoor activities to interact between different floors.