Edifice Consultants proposes master plan for Dhirubhai Ambani University Campus
Dhirubhai Ambani University has outlined its vision to set up a campus on a 100 acres site at the outskirts of Bhopal, India. The university would offer graduate and doctoral programs in Information and Communication Technology. The brief outlined the need for a campus to nurture young minds in an environment that would create potential for intellectual and social exchange. At the same time it is imperative that the master plan would respect the context and celebrate the cultural identity of the historic city of Bhopal and be environmentally sensitive to the ecology.
The site is set in a rural setting 15km from the Bhopal City Center. The hydrogeology study of the site reveals a depleted landscape and mostly patches of rocky sub base abundant with naturally occurring basalt. Natural rain water channels flows across the site from the hills at the North West corner gradually slopping to the east. The master plan responds to the brief by adhering to a multilayered planning approach with the intention to bind the built environments in a landscape which would enhance the physical network system of the campus.
A natural system is weaved along the rainwater channels creating a preservation and landscape regeneration strategy which will eventually transform the existing landform. Water harvesting ponds are intertwined in this fluid landscape around which campus amenities are infused. Existing agricultural parcels are preserved within the site for on-site food production. The student and faculty housing and the core campus are placed strategically to generate a high level of pedestrian interconnectivity between them leading to several academic plazas and courts. The overall materiality and its color palette are derived from the varied patterns of the indigenous stones found in this region.