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Ahmedabad University Centre

Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Completion Year : 2022

Gross Built Area : 20880 m2

Team : Vrushali Patil,  Mayank Jain,  Vrinda Jain

The brief for the Ahmedabad University Centre was created organically with the University Board as a hub for the in-between hours of formal teaching.  The aim was to create a centre that would become an incubator for academic life and a place for generating new ideas by creating interactive spaces besides formal educational functions. Being located at the vehicular entrance with underground parking, it also acts as a gateway between the city and the pedestrian university campus. The culture of street food being crucial to the fabric of Ahmedabad and student life, it was essential to design the food court as an extension of the street, leading to a food street at ground level. Inspired by the exciting bridge, Galata Koprusu, that links Galata to Eminonu in Istanbul and has a string of restaurants below and views on the Golden Horn, the three verandahs opening to the park can also be used for music performances while sitting under the trees. The 1st floor is an extension of the covered street with multipurpose rooms and clubs/activity rooms, immediately accessible from the ground level. The large multipurpose hall on the 2nd floor has a permanent stage for performance-oriented activities such as cinema, theatre, dance, conferences, and music. The seating comprises telescopic sliding bleachers that are otherwise stacked vertically on the wall to create an indoor open space to encourage sports such as basketball, TT, volleyball, and badminton. The University Offices are located In the East wing on the 2nd floor, overlooking the central cut-outs and the exterior through verandahs. The 3rd floor is almost exclusively the faculty club and café that takes the entire East wing with a peripheral covered verandah facing the central park and the morning sun. On the 4th floor is the quiet reading space and the Career Development Cell. The roof is dedicated to a running track and a 6x6 futsal court.

 

The large footprint of the University Centre, 96m x 36m, was a specific challenge to bring natural light and ventilation inside its core. We worked with 3D models and visualization tools to ensure adequate lighting by staggering the floors and allowing the natural light to flow down from the top and bounce up from the South-facing verandahs. As a result, the natural light crosses the building diagonally. The staggering of floors makes the building appear much larger than it is, with the students able to spot each other from different floors. On certain specific days (May 1, International Workers Day, and August 15, India’s Independence Day) a direct ray of light comes diagonally at sunrise from the top of the East façade to hit the ground floor.

 

This is the first building in Ahmedabad to use concrete precast technology in its structure at a large scale with the help of factory-fabricated hollow core slabs using thin strands (12.7mm diameter) instead of conventional reinforcement. The walls and beams are in-situ concrete, while the slabs are all prefabricated. The MEP systems have been designed with efficient reuse of water. The building gathers the sewage water from the other buildings in the campus in addition to its grey water. It recycles it for different purposes: irrigation, flushing of toilets, and cooling tower make-up water. The sewage treatment plant is located in the second basement and will be able to maintain the entire irrigation of the central forest. The futsal court on the rooftop is covered by a solar roof dedicated to energy generation with 450 solar panels generating 140 KW of solar light used directly for fans, light, and power sockets during the day. The openings on the façades are all recessed from the façade wall and open on deep verandahs to avoid direct glare on the glass and unnecessary blinds and curtains. As a result, this building is LEED Platinum certified.

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