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Laureus Learning Pavilion

Magic Bus Campus, Karjat, Mumbai, India
Institutional, Recreational,
Sustainability, Innovation, Context, Flexibility,
Design Team -

Robert Verrijt, Shefali Balwani, Sahil Deshpande, Pankaj Chakraborty, Ryan Mcloughlin

Size -

300 sq.m.

Program -

meeting rooms, gathering spaces, activity areas, watersports

Client -

Magic Bus India Foundation

Partly a building, partly a challenge course, the Laureus sponsored Learning Pavilion, located on the Magic Bus Centre for Experiential Learning, is an interactive building used as a gathering space and play area for underprivileged children while they are on their weekend camps.

more information

As the budget for the project was considerably low, the structure is designed such that 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, allowing the structure to remain 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 since the natural breeze flowing from the river will cool the covered spaces, and 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 through the hilled topography as well as wooden climbing ladders. A custom made ropes bridge suspended from the roof spans across the two decks, making 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)

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

The ropes bridge spontaneously becomes a viewing gallery, from which to instruct and cheer climbers using the Jacob’s ladder.

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)

Section detail (part B)

The Learning Pavilion is an interactive building 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

Ground floor plan - Only the toilets and storage areas are enclosed within walls and are tucked in to a hill.

First floor plan - On top of these storage rooms two decks form the activity zones for the children.


Section - the kayaks will be launched through a ramp into the river as well.

Section - a jungle bridge leads to the second deck. A wooden climbing ladder will take the children down to the ground floor. This airy, double height space will be used to play games, build rafts or just sit in the shade.

photograph by: Rob Thomas