The Kiran Village is a centre that enables children with mental and physical disabilities to discover their full potential and lead full and rewarding lives. Kiran means ray of light in Hindi and Kiran’s mission is to shine hope and love into the lives of everyone they work with.
When I arrived in Kiran there was a very busy Cerebral Palsy unit which provided intensive care and therapy for children with CP. There was a space outside to play and relax but it had no shelter from the sun and was not used very often.
I designed a roof to cover this area so that the children had a more comfortable place to relax and play. Being outside they felt more connected to the rest of the centre and could see what was going on around them more easily.
The design was based around an existing water pool which was rarely used. The roof was designed like a tree that grew up from the pond and collected the rainwater from the roof and collected it in the pond. There is a sacred tree in India called a Banyan tree. From its boughs, branches grow up towards the sun but roots hang down towards the ground and take root as the tree grows. The outer supports of the roof represent the Banyan tree roots supporting the shade giving branches above.
This space was a huge success. It provided much needed additional space to provide many different kinds of therapy and created a space for these activities to overlap with the rest of the activity in the centre.