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O.P. Jindal Global University

Sonepat, Haryana

Project: O.P.  Jindal global university

Site: Sonepat, Haryana, India. 

Year of completion/ opening


Phase 1: 2008-2009

Phase 2: 2011

Phase 3: 2013

Phase 4: 2014



SPA Design, New Delhi.


Design Team:

Stephane Paumier (Design Head)


Academic Block: Aashwin Bhargava (Project Lead), Chandrabhanu Pattanayak, Namitha Jalori, Sakshi Kumar, Fredrik Hellberg,


Faculty Housing: Shaily Gupta (Project Lead), Chinmay Kumar Mohanta, Mrunal Panchal


Student Housing phase 1 : Sagarika Suri(Project Lead), Swati Janu


Students Housing phase 2: Chinmay Kumar Mohanta (Project Lead), Aashwin Bhargava, Kawalpreet Singh, Muntaha Rushnaiwala


Students Housing phase 3&4: Adil Abuzar (Project Lead) Vijender Singh, Vani Sood


Landscape: Krishnachandran Balakrishnan(Project Lead),Sakshi Kumar


Photographers: Amit Pasricha, Edmund Sumner, Sanjeet Wahi, Spa Design Office.



O.P Jindal Global University


Structural & MEP Consultants:

Phase 1:

ECC/ EDRC Larsen & Toubro


Phase 2:

CE Con Structure, Escon MEP


Phase 3 and 4:

Elematic Structure, Escon MEP




Phase 1:

Larsen & Toubro


Phase 2:

BL Kashyap


Phase 3 and 4:

Jindal Realty pvt ltd., a branch of Jindal Steel and Power ltd.



Program: University Campus including Law School, Business School, School of International Affairs, School of Governance- Auditoria, library, classrooms, tutorial offices, convention center, canteen, students housing, faculty housing, sports centre, service block.



20 00 000 sqf, 10 00 000 sqf completed as of today.



Domus India Volume 03/ Issue 07, May 2014.









The campus for the O.P.Jindal Global University is planned in an entirely flat agricultural land, 10 km away from the city of Sonepat, on the remains of the mythical Grand Trunk Road that was going through Northern India, from Afghanistan to Burma.


As a Greenfield project with no built surroundings, the design is based on a very rigorous geometrical framework of “traces regulateurs” of squares and golden rectangles, dear to European architecture as well as Indian classical architecture. 


The project is designed like a vast classical garden where the nature has been tamed by the rule of geometry as the metaphor for the men pacified by the rule of law. 


The center of the campus is occupied by the academic block conceived like a floating square mandala of 160 m by 160 m. The entire building is lifted on pilotis to offer a continuous shaded park below the structures. The program is a combination of flexible spaces like classrooms, seminar rooms and faculty offices and pre-determined spaces like auditoria, library reception and kitchen.

The structure of the project exposes the nature of the program as well as the structural possibilities and the architectural freedom offered by large span steel structures.


The structural system is based on a combination of cores made of cast in situ concrete that house the staircases, lifts and shafts. In between the cores are the flying mega-trusses, that carry 3 floors of flexible work space.


The large span steel trusses exposed as the facade and are entirely flexible inside as no columns are hampering the open spaces. The heroic character of the trusses is reinforced by the red paint that signal the project on the horizon of the plains of Haryana, like a piece of land-art in the green fields.


Permanent elements in RCC like large auditoria, reception, library and cafeterias sit in the middle of the courtyards, making them public spaces in true sense.


Galleries and staircases are placed externally to reveal the dynamism of constant movements of the students behind the colored screen printed glass panes, reminiscence of the Indian jalis.


Beside the academic square are the 2 students complexes made of pavilions in exposed concrete varying in heights and covered with terrace gardens, creating 4 courtyards of different proportions.  


The faculty housing is a line of “immeubles villas”, dear to Le Corbusier,forming the visual boundary of the campus. These exposed brick buildings compile together experiments of typologies of 3 bedrooms dupleix with double height loggia, 2 bedrooms dupleix and single bedrooms flats. Apartments get 50 % to 100 % of their areas as garden or terrace garden. 


All the buildings come together around a network of gardens and parks, reintroducing the lost landscape of agricultural fields and vegetable gardens into the university. 


The other major consideration was the very short time of 18 months given for study and construction of the academic block. Therefore the methodology of construction became the key to a successful planning. These deadlines were achieved by pre-fabrication of large structural steel elements while the casting of in-situ RCC cores was happening. The site was turned into a well managed open air factory with reinforcement yards and steel trusses fabrication yards all around the building.


By the time the RCC cores were ready, the trusses as large as 60 M X 13 M could be lifted and bolted in place with heavy duty mobile cranes.

All the joints between trusses and columns are bolted connections to minimize welding at heights and minimize time wastage.


The technology of steel prefabrication was then followed in using a composite floor system made of TATA deck sheeting for all the floor plates to avoid formwork and accelerate construction activity. Metal deck sheeting thus forms a part of structural floor arrangement to reduce conventional reinforcement in tension zones. It was made possible to cast 4 floors at the same time, without any scaffolding.


More than 2500 workers were employed round the clock by the contractor at peak time and it took only 60 days to assemble together the structure after the RCC cores were erected.


The O.P. Jindal University academic block is an attempt to demonstrate that if responsibly design, a steel building can be sustainable. Here are the points that need to be considered:


For large span structures required in academia for large rooms, a steel structure seems to offer a much higher performance in use and weight of material. This building assembled like a large “mecano” is structurally pure and was very fast to assemble, avoiding months of dust and water wastage common in most RCC building, as well as constant nuisance for the students when the campus is already open.


The self weight was being minimized drastically compared to a conventional building. All facades are high efficiency ceramic fritted double glazing, the partitions are made of light weight gypsum board with little embodied energy, the total weight of the building on the ground, therefore the foundation design, is minimal.


The large span also permitted a full continuity of a shaded landscape below the pilotis, offering coolness to the open spaces. The conception minimized air-conditioning to rooms only, leaving all circulations and staircases naturally ventilated.


All the material used in the building are clearly identifiable and can be dismantled and recycled easily.


The Student Housing of O.P. Jindal Global University is a low height complex built around interconnected courtyards. Using concrete shear wall technology by Larsen and Toubro and left exposed by the architect, the complex involves a bare aesthetic wherein the structure forms the envelope of the buildings. The load bearing RCC walls employ a shallow running footing with minimum use of steel reinforcement.


Apart from the courts, the terrace gardens act as common interactive spaces, along with the flat slab running corridors all around. The rooms are linear and optimal in size [6x3.5m], flanked by the access corridors on both sides. Along with the terrace gardens, cavity walls formed by painted brickwork and insulation behind the concrete walls maintain thermal comfort within the rooms.


The complex steps gradually from G+1 stories towards the front to G+5 stories of the tallest block at the back. The human scale has been kept in mind while designing the blocks and courts. The blocks are connected with bridges that maintain continuity. Tubular channel sections running at slab, parapet and lintel levels provide continuity in elevation and further enhance the inter-connectivity of the blocks.


The stepped terraces, interconnected courtyards and blocks connected through bridges are a reinterpretation of the Datia Palace in Madhya Pradesh, and aim at making the students’ complex an active and interactive place. The use of exposed concrete and wooden doors, defined by the steel tubes, conveys a minimal and modest façade.



Material and prefabrication:


The different buildings on the campus have been designed as experiments in terms of typology, structural systems and materials:


A/ Academic block: The performance of steel has been explored for large span capability. The trusses and beams support deck sheeting and structural toping. The prefabrication of the structure was a major gain in time and lightness of construction. The RCC cores ensure the earthquake resistance of the structure. Low E glass, insulation, and 100 Kva of solar panels


B/ Faculty housing: The faculty housing as built as an assembly of duplex with large outdoor spaces like verandahs and open terraces. The brick as a cavity wall construction was explored for maximum insulation and thermal mass. The identity of the faculty housing comes from the exposed brick.


C/ Students housing: The students housing is an ongoing, scale 1, study on housing typology for high density, low rise development with high modularity. This study offers ways of solution for industrialization of construction for mass housing. Exposed concrete has been explored as a material of structure as well as finishing. While the first phase has focused on cast in situ concrete with L&T know how, the final phases are using heavy pre-cast technology imported from Europe by Jindal Group. The Elematic technology has allowed us to build a 100% pre-cast building, the first one in India. Walls, pre-stressed plain and hollow core slabs, columns and beams were pre-fabricated in the plant and brought to site for erection. Each floor could be executed in one week, compared to one month for conventional concrete structure.



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