“Creating spaces that engage people holistically and foster social interaction, evolving spatial relationships that are contextually responsive, forms the essence of our design philosophy.” -Sanjay Puri

The previous sentence contains the vision of the Sanjay Puri architects, an Indian firm based in Mumbai listed in the top 100 architects worldwide by Archdaily Architizer. The studio founded in 1992, has won 134 international architecture awards and completed over 600 projects. Sanjay Puri keeps pursuing his quest of creating architectures that simultaneously imbibing the intrinsic values of Indian heritage & culture within their sustainable design solutions.

The following sentence also effectively explains the idea behind the Prestige University project.

It is a prestigious building in a university campus of 32 arches that embodies, in its seemingly austere form, a mixture of different functions: administrative offices, an auditorium, seminar rooms, library, and cafeteria that integrate perfectly, thanks also to the inclusion of natural courts, creating harmonic spaces.

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Prestige University – Northern view ©The Plan

Concept

The building has the features of traditional Indian architecture, the red brick structure, and the regular plan setting give it a monolithic and austere image. An apparent rigidity is tempered from the outside by the composition of terraces that allow the ground to climb the building, which from the point of view to the north is hidden by vegetation creating the illusion of a natural hill that rises until it reaches 20 meters.

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Prestige University – Concept ©The Plan

The destruction of the monolithic building in a mesh of squares allows controlled deformation of the roof to create the external slope. Inside, the removal of square meshes according to a transverse spline creates a corridor that favours the principal circulation and access to collective functions. Last but not least; is the vertical emptying of some spaces; these create internal courtyards that bring nature inside and favour widespread natural lighting at each level.

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Prestige University – Terraces ©The Plan

From austerity to natural

The shape of Prestige University built as described above in the concept has a specific objective: to give an already atypical school building a sustainable connotation. Drawing inspiration from typical Indian architecture, the internal courtyards are a source of diffuse natural lighting and, this introspection guarantees protection from direct irradiation, harmful to comfort in a climate that predicts 30/40° C for eight months of the year. 

In addition to the natural lighting system, the path that intersects the building by connecting functional spaces and empty courtyards promotes a natural circulation of air and, creates in collaboration with vertical splits, the so-called fireplace effect generates a natural air conditioning system. 

On the other sides of the buildings, the east, west, and south sides, the monolithic and solid facades, are specially designed, wrapped in a ventilated brick screen, to mitigate heat gain in response to the climate. These architectural solutions, therefore, contribute to composing a sustainable, energy-efficient building with minimal dependence on artificial lighting and ventilation.

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Prestige University – cross circulation ©The Plan

From the intern

Inside the rigid red brick shell, the Prestige University building consists of multiple functions spread over five floors. The most public and common facilities, such as the food court, auditorium, and administrative offices, are located on the ground floor for easy access, easy use, and separation from spaces that require a greater privacy gradient. The various library components, spaces that averages between the purely public places and the classrooms and offices, are located on the first floor connected by a bridge that crosses the internal diagonal road that crosses the building. 

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Prestige University – library bridge ©The Plan

Areas that need a high privacy gradient are located on the upper floors. Like the common classrooms, which occupy the second floor obtaining light and ventilation from the various seductive volumes and open fields; these open courts act as a relapse area for recreational activities, in a continuous relationship with outdoor spaces. The third floor houses the tiered classrooms. While the fourth floor houses all administrative and faculty facilities.

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Prestige University – common classroom ©The Plan
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Prestige University – outdoor spaces ©The Plan

What is Prestige University

In conclusion, the Prestige University turns out to be an imposing building that, in addition to hosting numerous introspective nature activities, acquires, through architectural choices, a very well managed system of relations with the outside world. In this way, it also becomes a large open public space with an accessible ground floor and landscaped roof.

The building is composed, in fact, of a series of interactive spaces at different scales that favor interaction at various levels between users and intrinsically integrate open functional and landscape areas.

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Prestige University – top view ©The Plan

 

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