NAAC PROJECT REPORT
Bangalore is one of the most favorable cities of India. It is a garden city with good climatic conditions, availability of red earth, stones and thick vegetation. The most important feature of Bangalore is its well laid and integrated green areas, which in turn are responsible for its moderate climate.
The radiant city of Bangalore has been popularly named The Silicon Valley of India. Situated at an elevation of 900m above sea level with a varied terrain collecting rain water at several spots as water tanks, Bangalore is blessed with a climate similar to that of temperate regions. This makes the city a fascinating place for a variety of activities.
The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) located at Bangalore is an autonomous institution of the University Grants Commission. Knowledge systems and education form an important part of NAAC as it is involved in improving the quality of higher education in the country. This was a national level design competition for which initially we were declared winners & later on were adjudged runner-up. The design was submitted in association with HCDC.
The NAAC campus has been visualized as a composition of low key buildings which are in harmony with the surroundings to create a serene environment. There is a preference for subtle spatial enclosures rather than forms of grandeur. The aim is to seek an architectural expression signifying sagacity & elegance. The scale and spatial organization have been inspired by Fatehpur Sikri. At Sikri, the presence of the building is felt very strongly in spite of them being relatively small. This is possible because of the modest relation of building to the ground and sky and the backdrop of linking corridor.
Designing for the institutes extensive and varied programme demanded a similar approach though the corridors are replaced by a network of pathways and spaces between buildings become places for interaction. The design aims to merge the functional elements with landscape.
The aim is to ensure that all the individual constituent parts of the complex evoke the sense of belonging to a larger fabric. This would simultaneously functionally divide and unite the various buildings in the complex.
OVERALL PLANNING CONCEPTS
The design concept is based on a series of courtyards of different scales interlinked with each other around various functions. Functional and physical attributes of design are related to local traditions of courtyard typology with ample provision for plantation and the morphology of traditional spatial arrangement of courtyard concepts of Fatehpur Sikri.
One of the major considerations for design is the natural topography of the site. Various floor levels of the buildings and the pathways step up along the contours of the site.
Instead of building large monolithic repetitive parallel blocks, a low rise development is opted. The building blocks are fragmented into smaller aggregations which permit change in a unified development. These building blocks are attached to each other in various ways like pedestrian pathways, covered colonnades, courts and plazas to create diversity of forms for different areas.
The basic planning is based on providing distinct areas comprising the Administration, Training Centre, Library, Conference Centre and Guest House all linked with pedestrian pathways and placed around a central plaza. The design reflects our concern for symmetry and axial order. The design also establishes a proportional relationship between masses and empty spaces.
The most frequented public buildings of Administration, Training Centre, Library and Conference Centre have thus been assembled in an attractive manner and hierarchy, providing easy accessibility and orientation.
Owing to varying rhythm of solid and voids, wall and opening , coupled with direct or indirect natural light, these buildings will change character during different times of the day as well as seasons and the presence of nature can be felt inside.
The institutional buildings and the housing are located in two distinct areas of the site with a central recreational area as a buffer zone between them thus segregating public and private functions.
RESPONSE TO CLIMATE
Bangalore is located in moderate climatic zone with slightly higher temperatures during summer months of March, April and May. The main idea behind the incorporation of a climatically responsive design is to modulate the conditions in such a way that are always within or as close as possible to the comfort zone.
This climate leads to favorable growth of trees and green areas therefore the buildings include the external spaces and the links between buildings provide an opportunity for academic interaction. Trees and vegetation inside the courts and around the buildings, offer excellent shading and cooling.
Courtyards form an important feature of design vocabulary because they reduce the temperature due to cross ventilation and indirect lighting of interiors.
Elements like sunshades and recessed openings form a part of the architectural design language. The roof is insulated with earthen pots with a layer of brick bat coba waterproofing on top and finished with white china mosaic tiles to reflect heat The infill walls are made of aerated blocks to provide thermal comfort.
RESPONSE TO LANDSCAPING
A cultivated and coherent landscape
The cultivated landscape in the campus is formally connected to all open spaces. Its purpose is to define distinct settings for various activities and by its size, scale, form, colour and texture it may strengthen the unity of the entire campus. The natural qualities of the campus form the basis for developing a unique character. Thus the goal is the creation of a compact campus where ecological initiatives may be coupled with the estheticization of nature.
The landscape design of the campus is developed as a series of plazas, receiving greens and courtyards all connected through pedestrian pathways and covered corridors. The idea is to develop a hierarchy of open spaces from informal green spaces to formal courtyards.
Vegetation and trees in particular shade and reduce heat gain, as well as increase humidity levels and direct airflow by affecting pressure differences hence dense tree plantation suitable to Bangalore climate is proposed. To grow trees along the periphery of the site as a noise absorbing layer and also to block air pollution from the surrounding areas.
Plants, shrubs and trees absorb radiation in the process of photosynthesis. As a result they cool the environment. Thick vegetation can also cut off airflow. On the other hand trees and hedges can direct and increase air speed. This is done by planting trees and hedges in a manner so as to create a narrow path for the air. Reduction in area increases speed.
Areas are specifically designed to add peace and serenity to the campus and bring comfort to the end users. The environment is made relaxing by increasing greenery and made cooling with the use of fountains. Benches to sit may be used to provide seating and shade, a path incorporated to take a walk, swings for children. The idea behind it is to use nature as a means of relaxation and use it to the fullest.
These spaces are additionally structured cohesively by a signage system. The signage system used shall be both directional and informative. It shall result in a free flow of traffic throughout the premises. Security information shall be clearly and strategically placed.
Circulation realms are characterized by a clear distinction between vehicular and pedestrian movement. Due to this hierarchy a safe and conducive environment is created. The main vehicular entry to the site leads to all the major public buildings and there is a secondary entrance for the housing block.
The main road runs in front of the site and provides access to cul-de-sac roads leading to all buildings. This makes it easy to access all buildings for service and fire fighting purposes.
The major emphasis was on pedestrian movement and all the buildings are linked to each other by means of pedestrian pathways, courts and covered colonnades; making it easy to access buildings in all weather conditions.
The pathways rise along the natural slope of the site which heightens the spatial experience. These pathways also provide places for casual sitting, interactions and generate constant activities.
Barrier Free Building : An elaborate system of ramps and lifts where ever required are proposed to make the facilities easily accessible for the physically challenged.