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  • YEAR : 2013
  • LOCATION : Karjat, India
  • CATEGORY : Institutional

Magic Bus Learning Pavilion

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.

 

Masterplan Design

The 25-acre Magic Bus campus is situated near Mumbai in the Sahyadri Hills. Magic Bus works with children and young people taking them on a journey from Childhood to Livelihood and out of poverty. By enabling children to complete secondary education, delay their age of marriage, and skilling young people to be in jobs, the organisations helps moving a generation out of the vicious cycle of poverty.

The Magic Bus Centre for Outdoor Learning and Development was built in 2006 to offer an opportunity to discover how the expansive outdoors can help people nurture and develop their personal and interpersonal skills. It seeks to educate and mentor children through outdoor “experiential” learning.

The valleys of the Sahyadri Hills supply a unique variety of diverse terrains to be experienced by the children. Rivers, woods, nature trails, camping grounds, and expansive green lawns for soccer promote the NGO’s concept of “learning by doing”.

 

Phasing

The first Phase of this project comprising of children’s dormitories, a dining pavilion, volunteers accommodation and resources centre was designed by Rahul Mehrotra Associates.

Magic Bus commissioned Architecture BRIO to design the campus masterplan for the second Phase of the Centre. A study of the existing conditions, the strengths and weaknesses of the centre preceded the masterplan. Hereafter the masterplan proposed strategic interventions in the campus to optimise the existing resources and introduce new program.

The masterplan recommended to extend the campus with staff accommodation, a learning pavilion for children and facilitation centre for corporates, a children’s village and some additions to kitchen and administrative facilities.

 

Learning Pavilion

As the budget for the Learning Pavilion was considerably low, the structure is designed as economical as possible. It therefore attempts to use 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. On the other side of the building a ladder takes you to the upper floor deck.

 

Challenge Course

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.

Project Data

Project Name

Magic Bus Masterplan and Learning Pavilion

Year

2013

Themes

Sustainability, Innovation, Context, Flexibility

Status

Completed

Size

300 sq.m.

7.4 Ha. Masterplan

Program

Masterplan for the extensions of the Magic Bus Centre; facilitation centers, staff accommodations, children’s village

Learning Pavilion for children with gathering spaces, activity areas and water sports

Photographer

Masterplan of Magic Bus Campus

Masterplan of Magic Bus Outdoor Learning Centre

Magic Bus children playing soccer

Children playing soccer on the campus

magic bus learning pavilion Karjat india

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.

children at the magic bus learning pavilion Karjat

The inauguration of the pavilion

magic bus learning pavilion Karjat india

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.

magic bus learning pavilion Karjat india

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.

Concept Diagram
biodiversity training institute Sikkim india

Axonometric of building components

architectural model magic bus learning pavilion Karjat india

View of physical model from roof

architectural model magic bus learning pavilion Karjat india

Soccer field view of the physical model. The Learning Pavilion for Children has a uniquely specific and at the same time, open program.

view of pavilion from the field magic bus learning pavilion Karjat india

From the soccer field a log bridge placed on excavated rocks leads you over the stream to the hillock.

magic bus learning pavilion Karjat india

A cement floored children’s game area becomes a viewing platform of the sports field during the soccer matches played here.

magic bus learning pavilion Karjat india
cable bridge at magic bus learning pavilion Karjat india

The cantilevered timber deck across the stream is connected with a custom made timber / steel ropes bridge.

roof and cable bring at magic bus learning pavilion Karjat india

The bouncy ropes bridge makes an otherwise conventional passage from one activity space to another an exciting event.

detail section magic bus learning pavilion Karjat india

Section through rope bridge

architectural detail model magic bus learning pavilion Karjat india

Test model of rope bridge

cable bridge at magic bus learning pavilion Karjat india
magic bus learning pavilion Karjat
The ropes bridge spontaneously becomes a viewing gallery, from which to instruct and cheer climbers using the Jacob’s ladder.
view from river magic bus learning pavilion Karjat india
ladder to upper deck at magic bus learning pavilion Karjat india in Domus magazine

Wooden climbing ladders take the children up to the timber deck

magic bus learning pavilion Karjat india

Below the timber deck a watersports store room with kayaks and canoes is enclosed by a series of steel mesh double doors.

detail of railing magic bus learning pavilion

Detail section (part B)

detail of plinth magic bus learning pavilion Karjat india

Detail section (part A)

cable bridge at magic bus learning pavilion Karjat india
children at the magic bus learning pavilion Karjat

The Learning Pavilion becomes a part of Challenge Course at the Magic Bus Centre.

children at the magic bus learning pavilion Karjat

The pavilion encourages and challenges children to overcome their boundaries.

children at the magic bus learning pavilion Karjat
children at the magic bus learning pavilion Karjat

Sport and activity as an integral part of the pavilion, brings to life Magic Bus’s philosophy of social change through sport

magic bus learning pavilion Karjat night view

photograph by: Rob Thomas

Floor Plan of Magic Bus Learning Pavilion in Mumbai

Plan

Section of Magic Bus Learning Pavilion

Section

Learning Pavilion Karjat india

Exploded Axonometric