Sustainability and optimization have been the first principles of Morphogenesis since its conception. Ar Manit and Ar Sonal Rastogi, principal architects of this gigantic practice believe that sustainability is pragmatic consciousness and not just a layer of specialization. The Lalit Suri hospitality school, Faridabad is one such architectural expression designed with the same sense of consciousness by this firm.
The design of this institution was conceived on the notion of protecting what already exists of the site. On the northern brink of the site, there is a lush neem grove which they decided to protect at all costs. The design intervention on site is the adaptation to the existing terrain and vegetation. The key function of this institution is to provide the basis for education along with in-house practical experience.
Therefore, the design was devised to cater to dual functionality, i.e., an exceptional institution as well as bringing in the essence of luxury hotels. Flexibility in design, region-specific material, and passive design principles makes this structure awardable in its infancy itself. CWAB for Noteworthy project 2020, Future Arc Green Leadership for best institution 2020 are two such notable awards that the structure has received.
About the Institution
It is a 2,50,00 sqft campus engulfed in 5-acre forest terrain, nearing completion. The students who enroll at this institution are later absorbed into the parent hospitality chain, i.e, The Lalit group of hotels across the nation. Therefore, the institution not only nurtures the students but also develops them into working professionals. The public engagement zones are centrally aligned, with the building surrounding this central vista. The vista is semi-enclosed or at places open to the sky.
The buildings are not skyscrapers, a maximum of three levels has been achieved. Another aspect of design that Morphogenesis pays attention to is Affordability. Most of us have a misconception that affordability in other words means cheap, but in an actual sense, it means to articulate the necessities and optimize the resource allocation. In this institute, this aspect has been intervened with design to help create dual functionality, where the specific functions aren’t akin. Manit Rastogi in one of the interviews stated,
” As deigners, we don’t think it is the purview of government policy, we don’t think that it is the economists who look at affordability from the viewpoint of scarcity, but we are saying we will look at affordability from the viewpoint of abundance and find the balance of those resources. It is through that we will be able to find the solution which brings great design to a much larger spectrum of people. “
Passive design strategies
The design procreated a microclimate within the campus. The concept of courtyards, light wells, latticework is very native to the Indian terrain. These concepts are not just traditional beliefs but are very significant concerning the tropical weather of the Indian subcontinent. This campus is also built on similar lines. It has multiple courtyards and fenestrations, mostly facing the neem grove, which brings in a pleasant breeze and natural light.
The buildings and facade have a push and pull of form, to incorporate and not hinder the existing lush green patches. This ebb and flow of form make room for the semi-open courtyards. These punctures are defined by elaborate exposed brick columns that support the overhanging upper floors. There is an interesting play of public and semi-public spaces, they don’t have a clear demarcation between them, one flows into the other.
Jaali and Jharokha, both native techniques, have been innovatively integrated into the volumes. Brick is the principal material used, which is the most common and locally available material. Exposed brickwork gives a sense of regional correlation. These various passive strategies along with the neem blanket embracing the entire space tremendously reduce the active design additions to the structure.
Interior and spatial design
The brief pivoted on the students, their usage of space, and interaction. The dual functionality was another important aspect. The ambience and spatial functionality of the various units within the campus needed to be flexible in a way that is catered to be an institute for learning and experiencing real-world luxury hospitality.
Therefore, the restaurants and cafeteria have fully functioning kitchens which also serve as culinary classrooms, students could also learn servicing within these restaurants. The living quarters were designed similar to hotel room bays to understand on a personal level, the concepts of room service and housekeeping.
This structure is an example of timeless design because even though it embraces traditional, native techniques and materials, the experience it offers is concerning the present world. The spatial essence makes it modern and progressive in the eyes of the beholder, while the form is very native to the Indian context. Morphogenesis never fails to deliver prototypes to the future of sustainable living.