- Architect In Charge:McCullough Mulvin Architects, Designplus Associates Services
- Civil And Structural Engineer:Pristine Solutions Delhi
- Quantity Surveyor:Vinod Markanda Delhi
- Landscape Architects:Integral Landscape
- Facade Consultants:KR Suresh, Axis Facades Mumbai
- Contractors:Gannon Dunkerley & Company Limited, ANJ Mumbai
Text description provided by the architects. The Learning Laboratory is a new type of meeting space, an engine for education, a city for students, a destination for conversation; it mediates timeless form and offers complex spatial adventures. The building comprises a library, lecture theatres and a science faculty, each in a tall red Agra stone volume, with white marble detail, the facades mediated using louvred stone screens like traditional Jaali screens.
A 130m x 130m podium structure runs between and acts as climate modifier. 10m in the air, with giant ramps at either end, it is a natural extension of the pedestrian route. Below, everything is inhabited within a forked plan, like spreading water; students congregate in the heat of the day around fountains, in the cool shade of a tall concrete structure. The water cools the air and moves it to allow for a reduction in temperature at the hottest times of the year.
The three buildings have lofty 30m atrium spaces of quite different character - in the library a zip-like tapering void, the science building a shaped city square, the lecture theatres hovering over a built landscape; all three are crossed by dramatic staircases; light spills from tree-filled roofs to the ground below and into the busy under-podium world.
The structure is concrete at a series of scales: a grid of giant columns holds the podium, with herringbone soffits. Raked columns in the library touch as they meet. The lecture building has 6 theatres suspended back to back, 3 over 3, from a giant order that frees up the floor plans and forms a datum for the dancing staircases.
The architecture is of solid geometric forms, evocative of natural geography - extending nature to form rocky heights and shaded valleys. This is a contemporary concept founded on a sense of place, sensible to the traditions of Indian architecture. It is founded on strong sustainability and environmental concerns in a monsoon climate; it is built simply, using local labor and materials; the provision of cooling and shade limit solar gain, the podium with pools makes a local microclimate; Nature runs through it, from the existing trees retained, to the new landscape planted on the roofs through which light is filtered.