In a city where informal encounters are rare or even dangerous, our project fosters not only knowledge, but connections between people–creating an environment resembling the intimate and discoverable spaces of the urban bazaar. Functioning as more than a school, our proposal brings girls of all backgrounds together, providing spaces for learning, as well as exploration, play, and discovery.
Recognizing that all women need a place for community, space is provided for public use near the entry of the school. As one moves away from the entry–along the shared, open axis–the feeling becomes more intimate and one encounters spaces reserved exclusively for the students at the school. Classrooms are grouped in clusters of nine, with each set of three sharing an entry space. These gathering spaces allow for impromptu meetings–encouraging familiarity amongst girls of different classes. Each cluster varies slightly in orientation and geometry, giving each a unique identity. Our project is urban microcosm providing areas for young girls to share secrets, build friendships, and ultimately to grow into young women who can bring a sense of confidence to the greater Afghan community.