Indian Institute of Management

Udaipur, Rajasthan

TOPOGRAPHY AND MASTER PLAN :

 

The master plan of this project rests on the detailed reading and the understanding of the complex landscape of the site as the foundation strategy of the project. The detailed study of the topographical site and its surroundings led to the identification of special locations that would create an enhanced environment for the project.

 

Further down the scale, the design of the buildings aims at being an architectural landmark, exploratory and modern, encouraging internal and external communication for an effective human interface, befitting a modern creative environment. The project initiates a dialogue between the two sides of the site. It strengthens the relationship between the natural and built spaces.

 

Planning a campus like IIM Udaipur, like planning a city, requires a long term vision, as well as a feeling of continuity and achievement at every stage of phasing. The correct foundation of that miniaturized city will further help a more organic growth at a later stage.

 

The site is divided in half by a 60 meter deep valley that divide de plateaus. Each plateau is then subdivided in smaller hills by nallahs but those remain easy to bridge. The fundamental question raised by the topography is how to connect both parts of the site. This question is at the center of the project, we propose to connect the plateaus by a linear academic block and common facilities as the bridge of knowledge, connecting geography and people. This strong symbol of the new IIM Udaipur becomes its very identity, determined by the necessity to unify the site. It is the genesis of the Institution, its cradle, that will spread on the plateaus in its future development. Meanwhile the segregation of functions and future growth takes place naturally by allocation of each plateau.

 

The study of historic settlements in the desert climate of Rajasthan demonstrates the constant factor of creating a water retention, Udaipur and Jai Samand lake are among the largest man made reservoirs in South Asia, in order to provide the conditions of human inhabitation. The presence of water is as much a survival issue as it becomes a decisive factor for creating a micro climate. Living near the water, like in Udaipur or Pushkar is the Rajasthani response to climate hostility in the summer season.

 

The concept of Living in the in a micro climate of the valley, at least for day activities offers thus the best possible condition for studying, with the presence of water, moisture and trees. The breeze through the valley with a constant “Venturi effect” is used to cross ventilate the buildings. The shade provided in the morning and evening by the high banks reduces the direct heat on the buildings.

 

 

ACADEMIC AND ADMINISTRATIVE CENTER

 

Each topographical area has a special character that generates a responsive architectural typology, function and identity. The academic block becomes a network of stepped terraces with vertical hanging gardens, combining lecture halls, seminar halls, classrooms and faculty offices, connected by plazas, gardens, stairs and elevated streets, built on the slope facing the rising sun. Each space is accessible to disable people through 4 sets of lifts.

 

The architecture of traditional cities of Rajasthan are like Indian Ragas , they use minimalist and repetitive language but infinite variations, the academic and administrative center is made of simple and repetitive elements put together with variations of levels to produce a miniaturized city, the image of the new community, a community without gates that hold itself together by the pleasure of sharing.

 

All blocks benefit from natural light, cross ventilation, North South orientation and shading devices to minimize heat gain, East and West protection with solid opaque walls or the slope. The administrative and academic center is a very spectacular set up that gives multiple view points of the landscape and gather students and professors in the silence of the valley, a meditative environment.  

 

The administration is formed by the 2 upper blocks on the edge of the plateau to maximize visibility from the visitors and outsiders who need to interact with the administration, accounts and maintenance office.

 

 

THE LIBRARY

 

The library is the jewel of the project on an island of its own, giving an oasis quality to the memory of the Institute. The island will be well irrigated from surrounding water retention bodies, creating a tropical oasis in the desert. The approach to the library is by a covered bridge that provides scenic views and a meditative path. The roof will be designed with North facing skylights and South facing solar panels for lights, fans and computer points. The South façade will be equipped with non obtrusive louvers to cut direct sun radiation and views on the garden and water.

 

 

THE STUDENTS MESS

 

The public lift part of the students mess is the third part of the connecting elements that will lift up students and users to the other plateau, 60 m higher, through a set of 4X25 passengers lifts and staircases. It is a “Belvedere”, a selected view point that overlook the campus. The external walkways and the roof lead to the students park and apartments.

 

 

THE STUDENTS HOUSING

 

Students housing is organized as a network of community buildings arranged in clusters of apartments for 4 students in single room with a small living room, a kitchenette for tea coffee and snacks and 2 bathrooms. The area of 30m2 per student as given in the programme has been respected but provides a  better sense of community, in line with the maturity of PG students, than regimented lines of single bedrooms. The buildings have a internal shaded community space of informal activities where all students can gather and identify with a medium size group of 60 students beyond the girls boys usual hostel segregation.

 

 

THE SPORT CENTER

 

The sport center is built on top of a hill at the end of the central vista, like a giant eye overlooking the central park and the sport field. It overlooks the valley of leisure created by the sport fields like cricket, football, hockey, lawn tennis that will contain the rain water in a range of retaining walls.

 

 

THE FACULTY VILLAS APARTMENTS

 

Built on a dominating hill with views from all sides on the micro valleys, the diverse clusters of villa apartments are made of two superimposed duplex apartments (G+3 floors) with independent access and gardens or terrace gardens. The villas are benefitting from a direct access to a large planted park from their private garden. Their main access remains from a large pathway on the ridge that can also be used by emergency vehicles. We however encourage cars to be parked in the common parking to offer a complete pedestrian experience.

 

The common facilities and parking are kept on top of the hill for easy access and minimizing road construction.