Rajkumari Ratnavati Girls School is a unique girls’ school located in the rural desert of Jaisalmer, India. It was built to deal with the low female literacy rate in the state of Rajasthan. The school can accommodate up to 400 hundred girls from kindergarten to the 10th grade. The education provided by the school is free of cost but interestingly, it is not a public school. Moreover, Rajkumari Ratnavati Girls School is listed as a private school since it is run by an American non-profit organization called CITTA. The architect of the building is Diana Kellogg.
Image Credit: panjwani.vinay / instagram
The school blends in with the Thar Desert effortlessly.
It was designed in an oval shape that can withstand temperatures up to 50° Celsius. To help the school blend in with the environment, the hand-cut local stone called the Jaisalmer yellow limestone, or the golden stone, was used. Jaisalmer is also known as The Golden City of India for this reason. Local craftsmen, many of whom were the fathers of the students, helped with the construction of the school as the architect, Diana Kellogg, wanted the community to be involved in a building made for the community.
Rajkumari Ratnavati Girls School is the perfect combination of modern and traditional architecture.
Natural cooling techniques were incorporated into the design of the building like the jali screens. These traditionally carved screens have been used to battle extreme heat for centuries. They also act as a modesty screen for the girls.
Sustainability was also a priority for the design of the school. There are solar panels on the roof to provide electricity for the school fans and lights. The designers also borrowed the ancient local harvesting techniques to collect rainwater to provide the school with running water all year round. All these elements combined make the school blend in with nature and the community.