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Nature of project: adaptation of family house to school and it's extension over the schoolyard

Client: Project for the Blind, Tibet

Date: 2000

schoolyard perspective

longitudinal section B - B

cross section A - A

first floor plan

1 classroom A (7 students), 2 classroom B (10 students), 3 housefather, 4 dormitory (boys), 5 massage - training room, 6 WC, 7 bath, 8 storage, 9 shower

second floor plan

10 guestroom I., 11 living room, 12 bedroom, 13 guestroom II., 14 bath, 15 WC, 16 dormitory (girls), 17 housemother

satelite photograph including the site of the school   sketch   detail   Amokang under construction   Amokangs column for the schoolyard   columns for classroom B

       Project for the Blind is a well-established nonprofit organization in Lhasa. It came to be known for its program of locating blind children in remote areas and helping them to adjust to the sighted world. One of their main goals is to build a bio-farm, where blind people will be able to produce high-quality Dutch cheese. However, their initial project was the establishment of a school for blind children in Lhasa in 1998, and to that end, the reconstruction of a house in southern Lhasa. The existing house is the former residence of the ancestors of the 14th Dalai Lama. It was built in the middle of the 20th century, using iron beams brought from India to bridge its large rooms. These were the first iron beams in Lhasa. In expanding the school, Project for the Blind has opted to return to the traditional Tibetan style using typical masonry techniques and materials, such as chiseled granite, mud, and carved wooden pillars.

       The original reconstructed building houses the classrooms and gymnasium, exploiting the large volumes of space under the iron beams. The new construction consists of two independent buildings. Niekang, the dormitory and Amokang, where the school and massage training center will be located on the ground floor, and an apartment with a large terrace on the first floor. The buildings are joined by a room-bridge on the first floor above the entrance gate. These three buildings enclose a school yard paved in granite.

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