- Civil & Structural Engineers : Pristine Solutions, Delhi
- M&E Engineers : Aeon Integrated Building Design Consultants
- Client : Thapar University
- City : Patiala
- Country : India
Text description provided by the architects. The first phase of student accommodation for Thapar University delivers space for 1200 students in 4 towers ( 3 further towers under construction ) around a new public space on the campus in Patiala. The L-Shaped towers are linked by an elevated garden podium which shades the public spaces and pavilions beneath from the intense heat of the Indian sun. Each of the towers contains generous double height and inter-locking social spaces on all floors while all bedrooms have access to a private sun-screened balcony.
The Student residences are conceived as one anchor of the overall masterplan, linked to the Learning Centre by a shaded walkway which connects the main teaching buildings of the campus. Looking at traditional buildings where shade and privacy are created with jali screens around verandahs or by cutting down into the ground, we made an artificial geography by creating a podium level linking our towers, under which all kinds of social exchange could take place.
We wanted to create a specific sense of place for students to live together, on a range of scales from the individual to the community. Using GRC (glass reinforced concrete, locally manufactured - and translating the red ochre soil of the Punjab into a filigree of red GRC screens, a unitary massing is created which lets light through to balconies and allows the massive concrete structures to read clearly from the social spaces to create a strong background rhythm to daily life and patterns.
We try to understand the place and what is special about it– the populous cities of India are alternately crammed with busy people in tight spaces, and islands of calm and reflection - generally inside walled gardens, courtyards, and buildings. Thapar University campus is a microcosm of the city outside its gates, generating a series of places alternately buzzing and calm.