This new Applied Sciences University in Northern India seeks to be a higher education institution of premier international caliber, meeting the growing needs of India’s younger generations by providing a place for interdisciplinary education. The formation of the institution is based on three basic principles: to provide great infrastructure to support future growth, to attract the most qualified faculty, and to create a student-centric learning environment to attract undergraduates of the highest caliber.
The founders of the University intend to create a campus that fosters collaborative learning and research. As such, “connectivity” is an important concept for the University, which envisions multiple disciplines working, teaching, and learning in close proximity, and sharing physical space and resources to promote cross-disciplinary interactions. Sorg Architects is providing complete master planning, landscape urban design, and architectural design services for the University for the 20-acre site in three phases. Phase I includes the design and construction of the Administration Building, the Student Center, and three academic buildings. Phase II includes three additional classroom buildings, a Center of Innovation and Design, and an Arts Center. The third Phase adds student housing, completing the approximately 700,000 sf campus.
Reinforcing the concept of connectivity, planning and design of exterior and interior pedestrian circulation throughout the campus was key. Vehicular circulation is limited to the site’s perimeter, creating a vehicle-free campus interior. Exterior circulation is propelled by the landscape design, where plantings, walkways, and plazas create a continuous flow from one end of the University to the other. Open spaces in the form of plazas and greens of varying scale and character are also essential to adding to the feeling of openness, connectivity, and social life. These spaces also play a role in defining the positioning of buildings and providing an intermediate scale between individual buildings.
Interior circulation links between buildings are defined through covered elevated bridges and on-grade connections that are created by sculpting the landscape to descend below raised walkways. The importance of interior building circulation was driven by local climatic conditions, including intense summer heat and heavy monsoon rains. Providing students with the option to move between destinations, both within the protected built environment and outside in the landscape, yields the additional benefit of a swift and more efficient pedestrian flow.
The architectural language created for the campus is derived from the form of the dome, a natural geometry found in iconic and traditional Indian vernacular architecture, which provides the foundation for a variable and dynamic architectural expression. Within this lexicon, the main campus buildings are envisioned as strong sculptural statements composed of related and contrasting geometric forms. This approach allows for flexibility in expressing a rich language of formal massing across the campus.