United Arab Emirates, Dubai – 18 November, 2015: The modern, sleek design of Mohan Valrani and Al Shirawi Group owned Arcadia Preparatory School has been shortlisted in the ‘Education Project of the Year’ category at the annual Middle East Architect Awards. The Awards is the flagship venture of the DesignMENA.com, which is the Middle East’s premier website for architecture and interior design. The school’s design was conceptualized by leading architectural firm Godwin Austen Johnson (GAJ) under the guidance of Mohan Valrani, Senior Vice Chairman of Al Shirawi Group.
The school, located in Jumeirah Village Triangle, is the first in a series of community-based schools delivering the vision of Valrani and the Al Shirawi Group of Companies under the Arcadia EduPlan model.
Some of the key design elements of the school include a courtyard with a rubberized surface and wet play zone as well as an indoor play area for the youngest students in Early Years Foundation Stage. The older students have a separate courtyard that also comes with a rubberized surface. All students can also enjoy a play terrace, four court multipurpose sports hall, roof deck play area, multi-use games area, 5-a-side football pitch on the rooftop and a shaded swimming pool also on the roof level.
“From the initial stages of planning we were very clear that the design should reflect on the community atmosphere we aimed to foster at the school and we were able to achieve that by working with GAJ. Some functional areas were actually placed outside of the traditional classroom to allow children to foster collaboration,” said Valrani. “We believe that blended learning is the future and we wanted this to also be mirrored in our design as we inculcate the latest technological teaching aids into our curriculum.”
“The management at Al Shirawi Group was very clear in their vision for the design of the school. We have used their aim of a community like environment in many aspects of the design such as the semi-public plaza opening up to the public realm,” said Jason Burnside of GAJ. “Since the school is located in a predominantly residential area we strategically positioned the multipurpose double height hall to overlook the main road rather than the surrounding villa developments. Also the massing was limited to that of a low rise taking into consideration the adjacent neighborhoods.”
“We are honored to be recognized for the unconventional design of the school by a renowned entity such as DesignMENA.com and would like to thank the architectural firm, GAJ, for bringing our vision to life in spite of the limitations they faced in the process,” Valrani said.
The winners of the Middle East Architect Awards 2015 will be announced on 25 November at a ceremony to be held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Dubai.
About The Arcadia Preparatory School
The Arcadia Preparatory School is a new independent school in Jumeirah Village Triangle offering the highest quality education based on the National Curriculum for England, from the Early Years Foundation Stage (FS1) to Key Stage 2 (Year 6).
It is the first in a series of community-based schools delivering the vision of Mohan Valrani and the Al Shirawi Group of Companies under the Arcadia EduPlan model.