Self Sustaining technical School

Syed Wajahat Mehdi

Project idea

Youth are the future of a nation and are fundamental assets of a society in order to transform them into valuable members there should be sufficient opportunities for their mental and physical development. With the growth of Pakistan’s population, youth-related problems have also been increased. The youth began to linger behind in every field, they do not know the basic skills that are required in the various industries. This is where technical schools play their role. The thesis investigates the relationships and the capacity in which technical school architecture can influence the wellbeing of less privileged youngsters of Karachi. The idea is to closely examine the current situations of technical schools in Karachi, Pakistan, and the problems these facilities are facing.

Project description

One of the biggest issues faced by technical schools is their financial dependence on funding which results in not being able to create other means of income. Technical schools that are educating free of cost are financially dependent on aid, donations, and charities with no revenue generation model due to which these schools face many financial obstacles hence affecting their functionality. Due to strict spatial boundaries, technical schools act as dead spaces in non-functioning hours. These schools often act as non-place because of the absence of spaces for social and communal interaction. The thesis also raises the question that Alongside educating youth, how can these schools serve the other members of the community? In Karachi, Technical schools often work in isolation with no link between community and industry.
The inclusion of fund generating model in the design process of technical schools should be considered. There should be no boundaries between technical schools, community, and industry. The public should be invited to engage in a number of interactive programs so that they own the space and learn from it. Promoting the meaningful interaction of other age groups of a community so the school could play an integral part in community development.
A program was devised consisting of a technical school with supporting programs. An economic generative program was also proposed in the form of café, urban farm, exhibition space, Bazar, and seminar space. which could be utilized as a platform where students can do part-time work and gain real-life experience which can lead to role models.

Technical information

The selected site is one of the only open spaces left in the neighborhood. So, to maintain its openness the program is sunken into the ground to make it humble to its surroundings. The excavated soil is used to generate contours around the program. These contours act as farms and also connect ground level to roof level so that roofs can be accessible for passersby. The lower ground is primarily for technical school programs where workshops are located. Workshops like metal, wood, and automotive require open and well-ventilated spaces so these spaces have perforated walls double ceiling heights, and louvers to keep them well-lit and ventilated. The spatial planning is as per the requirements of accessibility and privacy. Public programs are kept on the roadside and along the pre-existing pedestrian paths to attract passerby while technical school programs require a bit of privacy and are kept on lower ground/ground levels and towards the residential side of the site.

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