Delhi-based Vijay Gupta Architects (VGA) has completed the construction of Amity International School in Mohali, Punjab. The project features minimal but effervescent interiors complemented by grey façade adorned with blue and yellow laser-cut aluminium panels. This exuberant curtain wall also protects the five-story building from the scorching southern sun. Saurabh Gupta, Partner at VGA discloses more interesting architectural features of this stunning project with SURFACES REPORTER (SR). Have a look:
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Learning environments play a pivotal role in a child’s life by creating a conducive character for overall growth and development. Spaces can create memories and enhance the learning experience greatly. The innovative approach to design for the Amity International School in Mohali, Punjab, attempts to go beyond the rigid morphology of educational spaces and planning. Drawing inferences from efficient models of tackling urban density, the complex seeks to embody a progressive spirit through an elevated level of spatial vibrancy by rethinking the design of conventional school complexes.
The site posed several challenges in terms of size, orientation and surroundings, which were ingeniously navigated while developing a distinctive design scheme. To balance spatial requirements with site constraints, the building mass has been lifted to the podium level, spilling over into a large colonnaded platform connecting the cafeteria and doubling up as a play area. Similarly, by providing activity areas at each level of the five-storey structure, the school complex enables spaces for engagement and exploration at several junctures.
While formal environments can help focus better, informal areas are just as important and contribute significantly to the learning process. Based on this principle, the Amity International School encapsulates ample playgrounds, shaded walkways, play areas, and open and semi-open spaces across floors, forging engaging and exploratory spaces at several junctures.
Façade Punctuated By Laser-cut Aluminium Panels
A playful mix of punctures and louvres lightens the visual load of the imposing five-story structure. These façade elements are planned to allow natural light in all spaces throughout the campus. One of the most prominent details of the project is the exuberant curtain wall that wraps around the built form on the southern side.
Made out of laser-cut aluminium panels and strategically placed to protect the building from the harsh southern sun, this fluid envelope of blue and yellow asserts a distinct visual identity to the complex. The building follows an organic form, achieved through well-crafted concrete details, with a bare ceiling, exposing the structural system, designed as an honest expression.
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Pop of Colours Add A Touch of Vibrance to Minimal Interiors
The interior spaces are shaped in a tactile language, with minimal but vibrant colours bringing in an elevated sense of dynamism, highlighting the innovative approach harbouring a conducive environment for learning.
Wooden porous partitions, organically designed, enable visual connectivity within spaces at all times. The North and South facades are a perfect example of functionality and aesthetics, as they allow the building to be climate-responsive while establishing a distinct visual identity. Efficient planning through cross-domain learning was instrumental in developing a design scheme that is fit for holistic education.
The comprehensive design scheme lays the blueprint for a holistic education – one where physical activity, social interaction, and creative exploration are just as crucial as curricular education.
Project Name: Amity International School
Principal Architect: Saurabh Gupta
Design Team: Akanksha Gupta
Name of Client: Ritnand Balved Education Foundation
Site Area: 2.7 Acres
Built-Up Area: 3,00,000 sq.ft
Project Cost: 75 Crores
Structural Engineer: Technical Project Consultants
Contractor: Ahuja Builders Private Limited
Start Date: August 2019
Completion Date: December 2021
Photographer: Avesh Gaur
About the Firm
Vijay Gupta Architects (VGA) was founded by Mr Vijay Gupta in 1968. Based out of New Delhi, it is an established and renowned master planning, architectural and interior design practice with a pan-India presence and a diverse body of work across varied scales and typologies in both public and private sectors. Led by the four partners, Saurabh Gupta, Alpana Gupta, Arti Gugnani, and Akanksha Gupta, the practice carries forward the legacy of its founder and renowned Architect Vijay Gupta. Over the years, the practice has been recognised with various awards and accolades, some of which include the ‘Architect of the Year’award to Vijay Gupta by the International Business Council; ‘Pride of India Gold Award’ by former Prime Minister H. D. Deve Gowda and ‘Gem of India Award’ presented at the All India Achievers Conference. Gupta’s efforts were also acknowledged internationally as the Government of Nepal presented him with the ‘Indo-Nepal Friendship Award’ and His Excellency, The Indian High Commissioner to the UK, conferred him with the ‘Bharat Gaurav Award’.
About Saurabh Gupta
Saurabh Gupta is a Partner at VGA and has been associated with the practice for over 15 years and carries forward Vijay Gupta’s legacy as a thought leader in educational space design. He develops a design language for projects through an iterative process that complements his creative solutions for pragmatic spatial design challenges. Through educational projects at VGA, he is constantly pushing the envelope to design spaces that catalyse holistic development for children of all ages with the fundamental principle to create interactive learning environments for children to learn, grow, and prosper.
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