In architecture, a popular school of practice is that a design needs to be driven by an innovative concept. In the centre of the city of Bengaluru, there lies a school by the RBANMS Trust. For the equity of the society, the RBANMS trust always believed that the gap in the society can be solved through education. Their school provides education to the underprivileged whilst making a positive impact on society. The school needed an extra classroom to operate its functional activities and thus approached the architect. 

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Towards the plinth_©Mathew and Ghosh Architects

In the case of the extension of the RBANMS school, the architects took the simplest addition of a classroom to a different level where the community gets connected. Simple and clear ideas always communicate well in architecture and the idea behind the project was to create a common space where children breathing area; where they can play and eat, while simultaneously having a congregation of different scales.


The design firm Matthew and Ghosh Architect has been engaged in a wide range of projects, embracing diverse design challenges over the past few decades They envision space to be both the present and the future of responsible design. They believe that thoughtful ideation and positioning are essential for good design. Their approach is compassionate, recognizing the complex nature of the city, its energy, and its people. They see buildings as more than just functional spaces made of materials; they are creators of lasting memories.

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View from entrance_©Mathew and Ghosh Architects


The RBANMS school located in the central Ulsoor area of Bangalore focuses on serving low-income, first-generation learners and marginalised communities of the locality. The school is a visionary project of a traditional trader family from Chettinad who wanted to educate youth and alleviate distress in the communities. Initially, the client required the architects to add an extra classroom to the school on the ground floor. Analysing the site and the existing facilities of the school, the designers saw the scope to create a playful treehouse in between the mango and jackfruit trees and free up the ground floor. Freeing up the ground floor enabled diverse and multifunctional usage of it at different points of the day.

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Exploded view of the structure_©Mathew and Ghosh Architects
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Existing trees have been incorporated to create the space_©Mathew and Ghosh Architects


Strategically incorporating a play area into the existing facility, made it possible to flow the new structure to blend in with the context. The area could also be used as the pickup and drop off for the kids, parents teacher meeting area, and children’s lunch and break area. Due to budget constraints, the proposed main structure was a metal structure of an open classroom pavilion. Other materials used were perforated sheets and bamboo mats, topped with an insulated roof.

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The plinth area converted to a play zone during the break_©Mathew and Ghosh Architects

The school was a very old establishment and therefore lacked a strategy for rainwater management. The designers incorporated a ground treatment process where rainwater from the roofs of both the existing building and the new classroom pavilion was combined into a system that allowed the harvesting and recharging groundwater table.

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Classroom located at the upper floor of the structure_© Mathew and Ghosh Architects


While designing the single classroom they were asked to, they simply added a plinth level as an engagement area for the children and the related users. They also orientated a few play apparatuses for the underprivileged children using the designated classroom. The school is in the centre of the city and they barely have any access to well-designed play areas designated for them only. Shortly after the completion of the project in 2018, the new extension became very useful and popular among children, teachers, and parents as well since all of them could use the space in their essence.

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Concept sketch_©Mathew & Ghosh Architects
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Ground floor plan_© Mathew and Ghosh Architects
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The focus play area with fluid water fountain_© Mathew and Ghosh Architects

The area outside the classroom has been transformed with a plinth that curves around the drinking water fountain, the big mango and jackfruit trees, and the edge of the play area. The fluid shape of the water fountain gives a sense of fluidity to the whole area and Its fluid shape is visually soft and inviting, making it a popular spot. This space was used both as an outdoor classroom, where students can actively engage in learning.

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First floor plan_© Mathew and Ghosh Architects
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Section A-A’_© Mathew and Ghosh Architects
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Section B-B’_© Mathew and Ghosh Architects


One of the major domains for children’s development is to engage in play of different sorts. In our conventional school curriculum, this is merely allocated as a physical training class. That barely helps any child with their mental and physical development. and with the fast pace of modern life, it is close to impossible to take care of that aspect of a child. In this very project of a classroom extension, the architects considered how play is essential for children of all social classes and economies and offers a way to explore different objects and materials creatively for enjoyment and practical problem-solving

Through using that very area as their common interaction area, they learn about themselves, make choices, take responsibilities, and develop a sense of agency by influencing their circumstances. They are also learning about others, understanding similarities and dissimilarities, and social rules, and acquiring skills to negotiate and resolve conflicts in their scale of social circle.

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Guided and free play are both encouraged in the landscape_© Mathew and Ghosh Architects

To conclude, the subtle thoughtfulness and simple intervention of clearing out the ground level and putting the classroom up which is similar to a tree house created a holistic impact on the classroom. The spaces created are versatile, enabling children to dawdle, daydream, shriek, and run. These spaces enabled connections with nature, peers, and the community and also offered a comprehensive environment for growth and exploration.


1. RBANMS School Extension, Bangalore. Available at:

  1. RBANMS School Extension / Mathew and Ghosh Architects. Available at: