Building to inspire

14 Mar 2011

Learning spaces that encapsulate 'die-hard modernism which aims for timelessness'

India is a country of varied culture and heritage. In a developing economy like India's, the challenge lies in working with the constraints to create that which not only serves the purpose but also has reason.

It is necessary to harmoniously unite all factors of aesthetics, function, sustainability and experience. Abin Design Studio design for the present and the future, trying to fuse into it the essence of what is important from the past, striving towards architecture that is timeless and specific to its context.

The International Management Institute at Kolkata is built on a tight site set in the heart of the city’s residential urban fabric. The site was leased out by the government for institutional purposes only. A unique chromatic glass façade is what sets it apart from the others and adds vibrancy to the campus. Double glass with an insulating layer in between prevents excessive heat gain inside and an always shaded integrated plaza with lily pools below creates a comfortable micro-climate. It is a dynamic façade which enhances the experience of the space inside as well. Natural light plays a key role in the design.

The design of the International Management Institute at Bhubaneswar is a confluence of the traditional with the modern where the architects tried to fuse local heritage and traditional elements in a modern setting. The curved façade of the library building in the academic block has sculptures, replicated from Khandagiri caves, in stone.

Decisions about the orientation and shape of the built forms are based on climatic factors. Large overhangs, innovatively designed openings and stone screens achieve a sustainable design. A central stepped plaza leading to a body of water acts as a natural exhaust making the court a solace in the hot summer.

The concept stresses establishing a design for the School of Planning and Architecture campus at Bhopal which can be a source of inspiration to the students. A common architectural vocabulary, which keeps in mind sustainability through choice of material, façade treatment, shading and energy efficiency, natural light and ventilation and low cost construction has been adopted.

The academic built form has been deliberately designed along a linear axis following site contours conceptualized with a naturally lit, well ventilated and shaded ‘Design Street - Central Promenade’ around which the blocks would be built. "Die-hard modernism which aims for timelessness."

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