Introduction | IIT Gandhinagar

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) is a public technical university in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India. Spanning 400 acres of land along the river Sabarmat. This institution is among the most globalised campuses in India, with its huge and sustainable faculty exchange programs with renowned universities from all continents. IIT aims to become the best educational institute in India and among the best in the world, as they promote critical thinking and encourage innovations. This pursuit has driven the institution into keen facility planning. It has been awarded a five-star GRIHA LD rating for its sustainable development approach, which will define norms for such developments.

Case study: Guesthouse at IIT Gandhinagar - Sheet1
Exterior View_

The University provides many facilities to meet the needs of both students and faculty, from Messes and Canteens: Clubhouses, Medical centres, sports facilities, and Student accommodations. Prominent among these campus facilities is the guest house, designed to provide an attractive physical environment for guests, visiting faculties, and scholars. The design architects won the commission through a two-stage competition conducted by the institution. Beyond the essential requirements, the institution had an opening for contributions from project participants.

Case study: Guesthouse at IIT Gandhinagar - Sheet2
Site Layout_

Planning And Design of the Guest House

The Neeraj Manchanda Architects designed the guesthouse, it covers a total of about 9850 sq. and was commissioned in 2021. This facility is located near the Gate-02 of the institute. The building holds an architectural statement due to its unique design with single-loaded corridors that open its circulation to the surrounding landscape for connections with nature. 

The facility has 85 rooms, of various types, including single, double, and special to cater to all guest needs, and can accommodate up to 170 guests at full capacity. The ground floor is designed to maintain seamless continuity between the indoor and outdoor areas, thereby creating visibility and space for social interactions. This concept was used to foster a comfortable micro-climate in the courtyards, inspired by the vertical scale of the Pols of Ahmedabad and a Corbusierian vocabulary,

Asides from the unique building form that was used, the Architect maintained a good spatial layout and distribution with few angular dead ends, that were utilized as convergence spaces. Introducing those spaces with tilted vertical walls was also a good move to control solar gain in indoor spaces. There was also a good consideration for inclusiveness.

Due to the warm climate of the region, the passive solar design approach was appropriately utilized. The concept of mutual shading was introduced to create a microclimate within the building by splitting the corridors and inserting a thin garden, creating the idea of a vertical garden

Distinguishing design elements were used, such as the undercroft, expanse of space with hard and soft landscaping elements, and light and shadow differentiations to promote interactivity amongst guests. This extensive use of landscape vegetation and greeneries pervades the building and its undercroft, supported by a horizontal garden elaborated by a combination of pre-cast paver panels, gravel, and turf. 

Ground Floor Plan_
Case study: Guesthouse at IIT Gandhinagar - Sheet4
First Floor Plan_

Material and Construction

In sustaining the idea of the structural and architectural relationship, the materials of construction and geometry are two distinguishing features of the facility harmoniously fussed. Every material formed a part of a long-lasting, robust solution. The facility has an outstanding geometry of two pointing nose-like ends, forming an intersection reconciling the north edge of the site with the south and naturally opening out to a garden. This opening gives an idea of open arms and reception into the building. Good materials like: 

  • Granites and bricks were used in the corridors. 
  • Bricks were used at the walkways of the undercroft.
  • The entire facility was built with self-compacting concrete.

Traditional elements of Gujarati art and craft with non-repeated end-to-end horizontal murals in every room were integrated into the project to complete the experiential connection of the users to the location.

Sustainability Approach | IIT Gandhinagar

Passive design strategies and methods were deployed to ensure sustainability measures were taken seriously, such as:

  • Orientation and positioning of the building
  • The use of solar shading devices to ensure cooling
  • Concrete fins and a fenestration that draws detail from the movement and angles of the sun are very visible.
  • Good daylighting.
  • Strategic opening up of circulation areas to ensure adequate airflow into the spaces to reduce the air-conditioning demand.
Case study: Guesthouse at IIT Gandhinagar - Sheet5
Typical Section_
Case study: Guesthouse at IIT Gandhinagar - Sheet6
Interior view of single loaded corridor_
Case study: Guesthouse at IIT Gandhinagar - Sheet7
Interior view of corridor_

The mutual shade and vertical scale comprise a green continuum that carries the horizontal garden indoors into the undercroft and subsequently up into a thin court, making the vertical garden. The continuous concrete pergola reduces solar isolation in the thin courtyard. The windows, other wall openings, and landscape elements unify the indoor and outdoor areas to modulate thermal comfort and create interaction opportunities. This creates an interplay of horizontality and verticality.

The building has been in use for about a year, and the post-occupancy reports validate the fact that the brief has been delivered and that the outcome corresponds to the objectives. It also shows that the design was the location and client-centred to ensure specific requirements were met. A consistent architectural language seen in all the campus projects ensures robust and sustainable building solutions from the onset. 


  • Guesthouse at IIT(2023) on March 27, 2023)
  • IIT Gandhinagar (2023) (Accessed on March 27, 2023)
  • IIT Gandhinagar-master Plan(2023) (Accessed on March 27, 2023)
  • IIT Campus facilities (2023) (Accessed on March 27, 2023)
  • Guesthouse IIT Design Architects(2023) (Accessed on March 27, 2023)

Edet Samuel is a Nigerian based architect with consistent practice experience in the built environment He began his career as a pupil architect in a firm and grew through the ranks of starting out his practice. He holds a Masters degree in Architecture from the University of Nigeria, and he's currently pursuing Doctorate with focus on Intelligent building management systems, architectural forensics, and Urban design. Edet Samuel has been exposed to a wide range of design projects cutting across major categories of buildings, and has contributed this experiences to students' academic works. Edet is broadly interested in contemporary responses and diversification in architecture, especially in areas of improved working drawings & detailing, design information and management, public health architecture in this era of pandemics that has made the home front the first line of defense, and design as 'preventive medicine'.