The Magic Bus Learning Pavilion is partly a building, partly a challenge course. It is an interactive building used as a gathering space and play area for underprivileged children while they are on their weekend camps. Sponsored by the Laureus Foundation, it is located on the Magic Bus Centre for Experiential Learning.
As the budget for the project was considerably low, the structure is designed as economical as possible. It uses the least amount of materials with the maximum amount of covered, shaded spaces. This is accomplished through the use of steel columns and a lightweight roof. The structure remains open from all sides, par the toilets and storage areas, which provide support to the two deck areas. This open structure creates a comfortable environment through the natural breeze that flows from the river cooling the covered spaces. Additionally it allows the river to be experienced through the building from the sports field.
Access and circulation to the two decks on the upper floor is provided in two ways.
A series of steps up the hill ends on a cement floored children’s game area. This area doubles as a viewing platform of the sports field during the soccer matches played here.
The cantilevered timber deck across the stream is connected with a custom made timber and steel ropes bridge. The bouncy ropes bridge obstacle course makes the otherwise conventional passage from one activity space to another an exciting event. It also becomes a viewing gallery, from which to instruct and cheer climbers using the Jacob’s ladder.
Below the timber deck a series of steel mesh double doors enclose a watersports store room with kayaks and canoes. This deck projects out over the sports field and becomes a viewing platform of the surrounding trees. Two wooden climbing ladders take the children down to the granite stone paved ground floor.
In effect it makes the pavilion a continuation of the challenge course at the Magic Bus Centre. The airy, double height spaces will be used as an activity zone to play games, watch soccer matches, build rafts, or just enjoy the shade.
(Photographs: Ariel Huber)
Magic Bus Learning Pavilion
Sustainability, Innovation, Context, Flexibility
Meeting rooms, Gathering spaces, Activity areas, Water sports
The inauguration of the pavilion
The landscape of the Magic Bus Centre is in stark contrast to the daily living conditions of most children in space-starved Mumbai where outdoor play areas are scarce.
The lightweight structure of the pavilion consisting of dark green painted steel columns and a semi-transparent roof allows it to disappear in the background.
The Learning Pavilion is located on a confluence of four important landscape elements.
A seasonal stream turns around a hillock and culminates in a river while flanking an existing soccer field.
Axonometric of building components
View of physical model from roof
Soccer field view of the physical model. The Learning Pavilion for Children has a uniquely specific and at the same time, open program.
From the soccer field a log bridge placed on excavated rocks leads you over the stream to the hillock.
A cement floored children’s game area becomes a viewing platform of the sports field during the soccer matches played here.
The cantilevered timber deck across the stream is connected with a custom made timber / steel ropes bridge.
The bouncy ropes bridge makes an otherwise conventional passage from one activity space to another an exciting event.
Section through rope bridge
Test model of rope bridge
Wooden climbing ladders take the children up to the timber deck
Below the timber deck a watersports store room with kayaks and canoes is enclosed by a series of steel mesh double doors.
Detail section (part A)
Detail section (part B)
The Learning Pavilion becomes a part of Challenge Course at the Magic Bus Centre.
The pavilion encourages and challenges children to overcome their boundaries.
Sport and activity as an integral part of the pavilion, brings to life Magic Bus’s philosophy of social change through sport
photograph by: Rob Thomas