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CSI School, Chengalpet, India


STATUS: Terminated


The CSI School project is funded by Ford Motor Company Fund as part of a bigger development project in south east India. As one of the leading automobile manufacturers in the country, Ford India is looking to expand its CSR initiatives by investing in social infrastructure in 7 villages around the Ford factory in Chengalpet, Kancheepuram District.
The program seeks to provide support to communities across the following focus areas:
Education & Learning: Focus on learning outcomes, curriculum development, and educational support.
Driving Safety & Skills: Driving skills and safety programs, focusing also on women drivers.
Environment & Sanitation: Provide school or community toilets, drinking water and/or safe disposal of water.
Health & Empowerment: Promote economic or health development through programs offering tailoring skills, SHG, hygiene & nutrition counsel.

This specific project is currently being developed by Architecture for Humanity and focuses on the Education & Learning part of the development program.


This project focuses specifically on Education & Learning. The CSI school is located in a village called Melrosapuram (after Melrose, a British national who engaged in philanthropic activities before Indian independence) in the Chengalpet district of Tamil Nadu. Located 40 km from central Chennai, this district is home to the Ford factory, as well as multiple other automobile factories. The Ford India Foundation has community programs in 7 villages in this area.

The school has been operational for about 60 years and provides both primary and secondary education up to the 10th grade. The school caters to 800 students and charges very nominal fees compared to other schools in the area while maintaining an educational standard above most government schools. The school is partially subsidized by the State Government, and also receives additional funding support from other agencies including the Ford India Foundation.


View CSI Highschool Project in a larger map


As the nearest institution providing 11th and 12th grade education is about 6 kilometers away and is served by a public bus runs only once every 3 hours, many students in the neighborhood are unable to continue their schooling past the 10th grade. This expansion project aims to provide the infrastructure needed to begin providing students with a complete higher secondary education at their local school.

The scope of the new project consists of:

  • Design and construction of two classrooms.
  • Design and construction of a science laboratory.
  • Upgrades to existing buildings.
  • Provision of high quality outdoor spaces for flexible learning and play.


Sponsoring partner Project Management Local Partner

CSI Highschool, Melrosapuram


The role of Architecture for Humanity is essential throughout all the project development stages. The first step is to analyze the feasibility of the project in order to design an appropriate building that relates to the existing context and the community can take full ownership of the project. Architecture for Humanity is managing the design, construction and construction administration of the school, making sure that the project represents the community’s objectives and the project is developed within schedule and budget. The role of Architecture for Humanity also consists in post-occupancy services in order to build a quality infrastructure that will be sustainable and used by the Melrosapuram community for many years to come.


Tender Documents- 7 March 2013
Schematic Design Presentation- 23 December 2012
Community Engagement Workshop- 30 November 2012
Design Brief- 18 December 2012


Chengalpet (near Chennai, Tamil Nadu)


Project Details

NAME: CSI School, Chengalpet, India
PROJECT LEAD: Architecture for Humanity
LOCATION: Chengalpet (near Chennai, Tamil Nadu), India
START DATE: June 23, 2012
CURRENT PHASE: Design complete
COST: $175000 USD (Estimated)
SIZE: 195 sq. m
PROJECT TYPE: Education Facility - Secondary School
FUNDING: Ford India
, Ford Motor Company Fund, the Global Giving Foundation
PROJECT PARTNER: CSI School, Chengalpet, India
DESIGN FELLOW: Carolina Libardi
DESIGN ARCHITECT: Poonam Mulchandani
CONTRACTOR(S): La Premiere Construction
BENEFICIARIES: High school students of the Chengalpet district.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT: This is a large campus in the rural part of the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India. This is an existing school and the project includes addition of new classrooms and repair and renovation of existing buildings, including removal of unsafe structures. The project implementation will potentially include landscaping and greening of the campus.