Balakrishna Vitthaldas Doshi is an Indian architect born on 26th August 1927. He is the first Indian to receive the Pritzker prize which is considered to be the most prestigious in architecture. He has also won the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan.
B V Doshi was often introduced as the man who trained under Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn, a pronouncement that though accurate, tended to attribute his achievement to their personalities rather than his talent. IIMB’s design has vanished this presumption by showing all of us a very original, creative human being who is as much in love with architecture as he is with life and Indian values.
The management wanted Doshi to design a campus that mirrored the city outside- Garden City. Doshi did exactly that, one can see and feel nature even when inside the classrooms.
- V. Doshi merged the Fatehpur Sikri’s courtyards and the gardens of Bangalore in his vision. He wanted the IIM campus to be a hub of education which promoted healthy, open discussions among the students and the faculty’ so He picked up the gardens and kept them in the courtyards, and then visioned it to be a ‘glocal’ campus. Instead of courtyards that are dry and rigid, he made green corridors that allowed academic exchanges to be carried beyond the classroom.
The 54,000 Sqm complex is built on a 100-acre campus on the Bannerghatta Road in the western hilly part of the Bangalore city. IIMB’s design symbolizes a deep understanding of the past and a comfortable relation with the present. B. V. Doshi said his aim was ‘to create an atmosphere where you don’t see divides and doors’. The functional and physical attributes of its designs are related to local traditions of pavilion-like spaces, courtyards, and ample provision for plantation. It is designed as a poly-nuclear plan. The overall spatial arrangement is based on a series of intersecting corridors that form the basic structure. The functions are organized within this orthogonal plan. It is punctuated with gardens, spaces for pause, spaces for chance encounters, and informal nodes. The staircases connect the corridors with the lecture-halls, meeting rooms, and other ancillary spaces serving as transitions – podiums to view the landscape. This system makes allowances for light, breeze, and vision to move on the loose within the plan. The amazing part of the structure is that the building is low on maintenance. The three-storied hallways, open quadrangles with ample area for greenery, and the rough texture finish are the unique features of this ‘glocal’ design that conserves energy- human and mechanical, enhances technologies, embraces innovative ways of building and uses substitute materials.
Hard and soft textures
The architect has used exposed concrete, lattices, frames, and wall system using rough blocks of local grey granite to give the building a standardized and simple look. Amalgamated with the floors made of rough and polished Kota stone, the structure creates a silent, neutral palette for more animate objects like trees and humans to occupy. IIM Bangalore is a tactile building. With the sun’s movement, the internal spaces are in transition and the presence of time finds a wonderful expression through the ever-changing light within. The granite walls – now flanked by healthy vegetation receive and release the light gently and keep changing the character of the main building during different times of the day and different types of season. The boundaries between inside and outside are completely blurred and is now a backdrop for the rich flora. It is in this act of gently balancing the opposites, now the scale, proportion, and light give the experience of meandering within the campus.
Variation and Theme
IIM building gives preference to the experience of traversing through its in-between spaces. It is heightened by the frequent changes of scale and the occasional breaking of the form of the corridor. The unique locations in the plan -from the lush, open campus to the semi-open corridors and eventually to the more enclosed and protected spaces- allow the utilitarian spaces to interact and comprehend more freely with all the embracing scheme creating a set of fluid and easy connections between the spaces for movement and spaces for work. The latest addition of a block by MindspaceArchitects exemplifies the potential of the plan to grow and become generative of the growth. The high corridors to heighten the spatial experience are sometimes open, sometimes partly covered with skylights and sometimes only with pergolas. The courtyards and corridors being sensitive to the Indian context of community and environment are lessons in rhythm and composition and show that the interior must be relevant to the exterior, and that life, art, and architecture can all exist together.