When Doaba Public School in Punjab, India decided to retire a 20-year-old school bus, it was reluctant to part ways with the vehicle. The bus had belonged to the school’s first fleet of school buses — now increased to a fleet of more than 50 vehicles — so, the administrators tapped Indian design practice Studio Ardete to reuse the decommissioned bus. The resulting design, called the Bavillion, is a geometric pavilion that’s integrated into the school and offers a play area, an open-air theater and a gallery space.
The 323-square-foot Bavillion serves the Doaba Public School located in the remote Punjabi village of Parowal. More than 2,500 students from over 100 villages travel — primarily on buses — to the school. Knowing how important buses are to the school, Studio Ardete was careful to keep the vehicle shape intact (including the steering wheel and driver’s seat) while gutting the interior to make way for a new gallery space lined with multi-faceted panels for texture. The pavilion structure was built on the outside of the bus as a “triangular prismatic volume,” and a deck was installed atop the roof of the bus.
The upcycled “Bus-Building” was also developed to teach the students and community about the circular economy and the benefits of recycling. The pavilion functions as a congregation space with bleacher seating for students and teachers, while the interior gallery offers insight and documentation on the school’s history over the past four decades.
“The bond shared by the school bus and the school has thus found a new meaning,” Studio Ardete said in a project statement. “After serving more than 8,000 school trips and taking on the responsibility of a million student’s transfers, it finally rests as an integral part of the school. A play area, an open air theater, a gallery and above all a symbol that inculcates the importance of reuse and upcycling in the students so their vision for tomorrow can be driven toward a sustainable future.”
Images via Ar.Purnesh Dev Nikhanj