Druk White Lotus School in Ladakh “grows out of the landscape”
The Druk White Lotus School, designed by Arup Associates and built in a high-altitude desert in India, has been named best sustainable development at the 2012 Emirates Glass Leaf Awards.
Five hundred pupils attend the school in Ladakh, which is often cut off by snow for five months of the year and where temperatures fall as low as -30 degrees centigrade.
The competition judges praised the school for its self-sufficiency and for using local materials that make it “grow out of the landscape”.
Kashmiri timber lines the classrooms, while low granite walls and traditional mud roofs mirror the landscape in an attempt to lessen the building’s impact.
Classrooms face the morning sun to make the most of natural light and heat. Solar water heaters provide hot water for showers, while photovoltaic panels provide electricity across the site.