Architecture and design firm CetraRuddy and India's The Choice School are celebrating the opening of its first new K-12 campus in Thiruvalla, in the South India state of Kerala.
The Thiruvalla campus is the first of three large projects currently underway, having opened for 100 primary school students last month with six classrooms, a teacher's room, cafeteria and administrative spaces. Upon full build-out, the K-12 facility will accommodate up to 2,500 students in an award-winning educational community.
Other school projects for The Choice School currently underway in India include a major renovation of an existing campus, as well as an award-winning new 2,500-student campus in Calicut, India. The projects have earned wide acclaim, including a finalist spot in the World Architecture News (WAN) Future Projects Education Award and the Architizer A+ Award.
The constructed building is a significant milestone for both CetraRuddy and philanthropic organization The Choice School, who are together creating a new prototype for K-12 education in the country.
This is the fifth commission in India for CetraRuddy and their first of three school projects there. The work is the brainchild of entrepreneur Jose Thomas, founder of Choice Estates & Constructions Ltd. In 1990, Mr. Thomas founded The Choice School in Tripunithura, Cochin, and it now ranks among the country's best educational institutions.
The Thiruvalla campus comprises modular blocks for primary, middle, and high school students, all housed in a single structure so that students of different ages can interact. The designs have been noted for their imaginative architecture, holistic approach to education, and sensitivity to its local context.
"I firmly believe the learning effect is maximized with the overall design, aesthetics, materials usage and the understanding that a school is more than just a building with windows," says Karthik Saravanan, vice president at Choice Group. "Thanks to CetraRuddy, this belief has been given form."
Both projects are spearheaded by CetraRuddy principal Theresa Genovese, AIA, an expert source with extensive experience in education, cultural and library projects.