New girls’ school in Afghanistan is the product of a unique international effort

The Gohar Khatoon Girls’ School is described as an “oasis of learning” for young girls in the desert city of Mazar-i-Sharif. Centered in a dense urban area, the school makes abundant use of what nature has to offer – numerous deep window openings provide copious daylight and fresh air indoors, while a tree-lined courtyard creates a connection to nature for the thousands of K-12 girls attending each day.

Like many schools in Afghanistan, Gohar Khatoon is often subject to limited and unstable power supply. PAE principal Allan Montpellier volunteered consultation services to help improve energy efficiency and thermal comfort for this project.

His expertise lead to the inclusion of sustainable natural ventilation, as well as the use of thermal comfort strategies such as thermal mass and operable windows.

The result is an innovative space where girls can learn, play, and prepare for a future they can own like never before.

Gohar Khatoon recently won the AIA National 2018 Honor Award, as well as the AIA Northwest and Pacific Region 2017 Honor Award.

Click here to learn more about the school, its inspiring history, and the myriad of reasons it won these awards.