Saturday, September 7, 2013

House of God's Children-The Facility

House of God's Children
Madrasat az-Zahra (School of Flower)
My dream:
An alternative system proposition to modern schooling

----First draft----

For the overview of the House-Madrasah and for some basic principles, as well as the provided links for
-The facility
-Activity examples
-A typical day
-Project examples

The school is attended by both boarding students and day-time students. On the facility, orphans are paired with single mothers. Children of all ethnic backgrounds younger than 2-3 years old are adopted for a rainbow environment, children of families who would have specifically wished their young to grow up in a spiritual environment are given preference. In each apartment lives a mom with one or 2 biological children and 1 to 3 adopted children (total of up to 4 children), each mom having all girls or all boys. 

The entire facility is intended to look far from an orphanage or women's shelter or a school or a farm house but more like a palace out of an Arabian fairy tale, to somewhat befit its madrasah identity. It is preferably located somewhere we can fish (i.e. hunt). The facility is made up of complexes, initially 1 complex, but if the #of boarding children increase then more complexes of similar style can be built. Every complex provides home for up to 5 mothers and their 20 children (avg of 13 adopted and 7 biological children). Each complex is made up of 3 buildings fitted in 3 circles of equal radii (r=~11 mt~36 feet), their centers passing through a 4th inner circle of also equal radius. The 4th inner circle constitutes the completely private area with the swimming pool in the middle. This inner yard is covered with a removable clear dome. Thus all 3 of the buildings face the pool and line the inner yard providing privacy for mothers and children. The buildings are seated in the remaining portions of the 3 outer circles and while the side of each building that looks to the pool constitutes a 120 deg arc-circle, the side of each building that doesn't face the pool has 8 of the walls of the largest dodecagon (12-sided polygon) that can be circumscribed in the circle. The Taj Mahal style domes of each 3 buildings are partially circular to cover the unusually shaped buildings underneath. Large stained glass arched windows, wood carvings and arched roofs with Alhambra style columns match the traditional looks of the complex. Each building constitutes of 3 floors, housing the apartments of the moms, as well as a communal living&prayer room, kitchen and dining room, laundry room, art room, computer room &research library, media room, soundproof music recording room, pool and inner yard, garage, grill, outer garden and farm. The building and everything within it from furniture to rugs, clothes to cleaning materials, is made of all natural, earth friendly materials such as hemp. The building will be designed to be as self-sufficient as possible: good insulation to minimize heating and cooling expenses, composting trash for gardening, etc. All 3 buildings (except for garage) and the inner courtyard are all shoe-free zones.

Area of 1 floor=(r^2)*(3-pi/3-tan15/2)=~1.82*(r^2)~225,422 sq.ft.
Area of total 9 floors of all 3 buildings=225*9=2,025,797 sq.ft.

Building #1: middle floor, pool level: 1 large yoga&prayer&living room, 1 small prayer&meditation room (both rooms with cushions, rugs and ottoman style seating-sedir- along the walls only, decorated w/ large plants; 2 rooms offered for possible simultaneous prayer and/or chanting in various traditions), 1 bathroom with multiple floor toilets and a mini-sadirvan (seated ablution sinks), 1 small bathroom with seated toilet for visiting fathers and the comfort of others. This floor opens to garden#1 (between buildings #1 and #2) through a downward stairwell with a curved roof and has a door to the inner yard, as well as upstairs and downstairs access through stairwell.
Top floor:  the 1st 3BR apartment, this is one of the several almost identical apartments the complex houses; 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a kitchenette. The mother's larger bedroom has a queen sized bed, a nightstand, a vanity desk with stool, a one-armed couch with coffee table and optionally an office desk. One of the bathrooms is in this room besides a large walk-in closet with shelves, hangers and drawers as well as a chair. The other bathroom (for kids with two toilets and two sinks, one shower and one tub) and a kitchenette is in the hallway. The smaller 2 bedrooms are shared by up to 4 children. Each room has its own walk-in closet with hangers, shelves and drawers for storing clothes and linens but also share a 3rd closet with drawers and shelves for storing toys and books. One of the bedrooms has an L-shaped desk with 2 chairs, the other bedroom has a small desk with 1 office chair but also a one-arm couch with end table. Each room has 2 nightstands and 1 queen-sized bed as cosleeping between siblings and parents is encouraged.
Bottom floor: the 2nd 3BR apartment, same as top floor. The bottom floors of each building have windows on the side of the buildings not facing the inner yard.

Building #2: middle floor, pool level: 1 large area constituting the dining room (decorated w/ large plants), toilet (with sink, no shower) and kitchen (large floor seating with low table and cushions as well as a dining table for the comfort of some and a piano for practice&cheering up meals). The kitchen door opens to garden#1 through a downward stairwell with a curved roof. This stairwell is the mirror image of the one that comes down from building#1 and the two stairwells meet in garden#1 where the compost bin is kept under the stairs surrounded by edible green leaves such as mint as well as visually pretty flowers. The grill is kept in this garden, further away from the stairs. The dining room opens to the inner yard with pool. Upstairs and downstairs access through stairwell.
Top floor: the 3rd 3BR apartment
Bottom floor: the 4th 3BR apartment

Building #3: middle floor, pool level:. art room, computer room &research library (decorated w/ large plants), 2 bathrooms (each with 2 toilets, 1sink and a multi-shower-head for male and female day-time students to shower after exercise.) The library opens to the inner yard with pool. Upstairs and downstairs access through stairwell.
Top floor: the 5th 3BR apartment.
Bottom floor: 4 car-garage with storage and soundproof area holding laundry room, music recording room, media/movie room. (Thus it is possible to enter this building from outside through the garage and a door next to the garage door. The other buildings have access to outside through doors in bottom floor apartments and through stairs leading to middle floors and each building has access to the inner courtyard.)

All 3 bottom floors also step down to underground passages that can be used as emergency shelters.

Further Details:
Kitchen has an island counter underneath of which there will be glass jar boxes (made of hemp, bamboo, wood) and shelves, one length for nuts (raw and in shells to prevent over eating), one length for herbs (to make tea), one width for berries and fruits, one width for water and veggie snacks such as baby carrots, grape tomatoes, etc, such that the island counter continuously holds healthy snacks that will prevent children from craving unhealthy junk or sugar. That the storage is underneath the counter will allow younger children to easily reach food without needing help. However, no matter when they eat, if they are inside the building they have to eat on the table or floor cloth in dining room and wash hands before and after. We cannot have children eating all over the buildings and smearing it on all the walls and rugs :) we have to minimize mess before it happens to reduce cleaning time. If they want to eat and walk around and make a mess the children can always choose to do so out in the gardens.

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