Al Basma British School





Al Basma English School


Abu Dhabi


Design, Supervision

Project Scale

15,100 sqm







Designed and constructed in 2013 for the client Abu Dhabi Educational Council, the Al Basma English School stands as a bright example of how clever design can maximize investment. The initial project was aimed at hosting around 2200 students of all levels. After the stellar success within the first couple of years, the main building was extended to accommodate 700 more students. The layout is based on prototype blocks of classrooms. Each block contains ten classrooms with accompanying facilities, easily multiplied to host the desired number of students. Their distribution allowed for logical segmentation of the areas, including different activities and different student levels, from KG to high. Moreover, such a solution allowed for effortless future extensions at a reasonable cost.

One of the design highlights is the KG block, placed on the corner of the building, next to the main street. It’s uniquely decorated with sizeable colored glass panels serving multiple functions. Observed from the street, the block represents an attractive visual point, at the same time creating a vibrant, colorful atmosphere inside the classrooms. The main entrance is positioned in the middle of the front facade, featuring double height and substantial glass panels. All key traffic lines have been meticulously studied and arranged in a way that significantly enhances efficiency. Each zone is adequately connected, ensuring smooth circulation flow in all directions.

Activities block is located on the left side of the building, comprising a cafeteria, sports wall, and swimming pool, together with all necessary facilities. Once more, the block prototype allowed for a seamless extension. Within a couple of years, the original activity areas have been adapted to suit the needs of an increasing number of students, leaving no obvious trace of changes made to the original building. The whole structure still appears like one single, harmonious object. The challenge of providing high levels of natural light and natural ventilation for all lobbies and play areas turned into a huge success. An abundance of glass panels secured sufficient transparency to keep all of the corridors bright while also improving the structure’s sustainability levels in the process. The Al Basma English School design made the most out of the available budget without compromising on quality. For that reason, this structure is today one of the most popular schools in the area.