Architecture firm Space Matters has designed Vidya Devi Jindal Paramedical College in the existing campus of the Institute of Medical Science in Agroha, Haryana by using white and red sandstone. The design lets in maximum natural light while reducing heat gain through the use of louvers and building orientation. Here, SURFACES REPORTER (SR) is presenting more information about the project provided to us by the firm.
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The firm received the brief to create a modern, state-of-the-art facility within the Institute to provide affordable healthcare to a predominantly rural population.
Influenced By Corbusier’s Chandigarh and Mounds of Agroha
The architecture firm took design cues from the existing campus which uses the vocabulary of Corbusier’s Chandigarh, and from the nearby ‘Mounds of Agroha’ that date back to the Harappan civilization (4th century BC).
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Award-winning artist Avdesh Kumar has fascinatingly reinterpreted the project in Madhubani- Indian Folk Art.
Madhubani Art by Artist Avdesh Kumar
Earthy Tones of Primitive Landscape
The firm designed the Paramedical College in the form of mound emerging from the earth, hence, the low, horizontal form. Red sandstone and exposed concrete recreate earthy palettes of the prehistoric landscape. A triple-height white sandstone jaali/ lattice-wall greets people at the foyer.
Lattice Wall Forms Cuneiform Symbols of Harappan Civilization
The Jaali soothes the eyes in this dry and harsh region while creating shade and bringing in cool air.
The lattice wall has cuneiform symbols, which is used by Harappan, also known as Indus valley civilization, which is India’s oldest known urban city.
These symbols are making it a site of tribute to the knowledge and prosperity of ancient India.
At the heart of the rectilinear structure lies a courtyard, scooped out of the ‘mound’ to create a shaded oasis. An amphitheatre placed here functions as a spill-out space that also hosts assembly.
Learning happens at any time and place, which is why formal and informal merge at the edge of this void.
The programme varies across the floors, and each floor is divided into wings (North-East, South-East, North-West and South-West). The 4 wings on the ground and the first floor reduce to 2 wings seconds floor onwards. Academic spaces are on the ground, first and fourth floors while the second and third floors host staff offices and smaller libraries.
The 7000 sqft L-shaped library takes up half of the ground floor footprint. Enveloped in glass, it overlooks the garden on one side and the courtyard on the other.
Mushroom-Shaped Columns of Concrete
Flared mushroom columns, which meet the ceiling gently with an offset, give the impression of a floating ceiling. Creating this sense of lightness in a heavy, solid structure establishes a dynamic architectural expression - making the building come alive! The region faces harsh summers, and a large overhang is designed above the library in order to reduce heat gain from the West. At night, the library glows - like a metaphorical lantern, akin to how education dispels the darkness of ignorance.
The site’s grand past inspired the firm to create a serene space of learning, which reflects modern ambitions.
Long-lasting and Low-Maintenance Materials
The firm used materials judiciously and carefully for longevity and minimal maintenance.
Autoclaved aerated concrete blocks generated a lighter structure since pile foundations were avoided (demanded by a brick structure of this scale).
Designers fixed the stone on the facade with MS frame and SS clamps using a dry-cladding technique instead of a cumbersome wet-cladding one.
Silicone coatings over the sandstone facade prevent water absorption, thereby delaying moisture damage.
Project: Vidya Devi Jindal Paramedical College
Location: Agroha, Haryana
Client: JSW Group
Architecture firm:SpaceMatters, New Delhi
Principal Architects: Suditya Sinha, Amritha Ballal, Moulshri Joshi
Design team: Suditya Sinha, Amritha Ballal, Moulshri Joshi, Pradeep Kumar, Harish Singla, Gaurav Gupta, Bharat Bhushan, Akash Kumar Das, Sandeep Singh Rathore, Sony Joshua, Akhilesh Yadav
Site Area: 27,000 sq ft or 2500 sqm
Project Area: 90,000 sq ft or 8360 sqm
Civil Contractors: Rajeev Enterprises
Structural Engineers: Design Roots
Services: Plumbing and Fire Fighting - DSR Engineering,
Electrical:Engineering consultancy services
HVAC: TNE Engineering
Completion of project:August 2019
Photographs: Andre Fanthome, Noughts & Crosses LLP
Text Courtesy: SpaceMatters
About the Firm
SpaceMatters is an integrated design practise founded in 2005 by architects Amritha Ballal, Moulshri Joshi and Suditya Sinha with architecture, interior, urban design and habitat research capabilities based out of New Delhi, India.
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