Nahda International Primary School
Nahda International Primary School is the first in an envisaged series of progressive and transformative schools in Jeddah and across Saudi Arabia. Providing a new pedagogical model in the region, these schools aim to create centres of education excellence, global in approach yet tailor made for modern Saudi Arabia.
This four form-entry Nursery to year four school is conceived as a large courtyard house – within a hard exterior lies a light and airy world of learning, exploration and fun. The internal courtyard forms the heart of the school, with all teaching and social spaces opening onto it. Wrapping around this atrium space, a band of accommodation forms a protective wall to the outside. Externally, the walls provide protection from the sun, carefully angled to allow only north light into the spaces. Internally, large amounts of glazing provide transparency and openness, showcasing the life and activity of the school throughout the building.
Oversailing the atrium, and connecting the inside world of the school to the outside world of the playground and pool, is an undulating roof providing shade and protection from the elements. The form of the roof has been purposely designed to allow maximum amounts of daylight into the heartspace, while keeping out solar gain and glare. Outside, the roof continues as a slatted structure, providing shade while allowing breezes to pass through.
The building employs passive environmental measures to reduce energy consumption. Key elements are the facade and roof, designed to minimise solar glare and overheating while maximising opportunities for daylighting and views. At ground floor, large areas of glazing are shaded by the overhanging first floor and fabric canopies protecting the outdoor play spaces. At first floor, angled wall blades protect the windows from east and west sun and reorientate the glazing to face north. Similarly, sawtooth roof has been developed to allow plenty of north light while minimising direct sunlight. The south facing slopes of these roofs can accommodate photovoltaic and solar thermal panels.