Hidden amongst trees on the bank of the river Kathajodi in the silver city of Cuttack, Piloo Mody College of Architecture is unique in having an entire college campus dedicated to Architecture and with provisions for over 100 students. It is also the biggest architecture college in India.
Established 25 years ago in 1993, PMCA has always been a place loved by both students and teachers. In this article, we will take a closer look at the college that I am currently a student in.
About The College And Courses Offered
Piloo Mody College of Architecture, fondly referred to as PMCA by students and faculty alike, was established in the year 1993 by the visionary, Ar. K.B. Mohapatra, and was named after parliament member Ar. Piloo Mody, who was one of the forces behind the enactment of The Architects’ Act of 1972.
The college started its journey in the home of K.B. Mohapatra, who had a dream to teach architecture and has today gone on to become one of the largest architecture colleges in the country. The campus also has an engineering college that was established in 1995, and together, the whole college is known as ABIT-PMCA. The whole architecture department is divided into three buildings, two of which are connected by a bridge and the other shares space with the engineering department.
The college, approved by the Council of Architecture, and affiliated with the Biju Patnaik University of Technology, offers a 5-year Bachelors of Architecture programme, along with a 3-year Masters of Architecture programme in Habitat Design. The college has also recently opened a research department, to honour and carry forward the dream seen by the founder.
Work Scenario And Student Environment
PMCA has huge classrooms with both drafting tables and standard desks, catering to every need of the students. The students have the liberty to customize their classrooms to fit their tastes, and they can do everything from painting the walls to adding a signature touch to their drafting tables. The students are also sometimes allowed to add their designs and murals on the exterior walls of the college, especially at the podium area near the entrance.
Half of the faculty are former students of the college, and that allows them to form a more personal connection with their students, and help them in navigating the stream of Architecture. The faculty are always available for discussions, whether they are related to their course, or about the current happenings in the world. The cafeteria present at the heart of PMCA is the most bustling area of the college and allows for interactions between juniors and seniors, and also amongst teachers and students, and some of the best project ideas have come up during these informal discussions.
The whole environment in the college is about nurturing the talents and ideas of the students and encouraging them to think freely, instead of just teaching the designated course work. And this is one of the reasons why students are always trying to find ways to come back here—whether it be as teachers, or as guest lecturers, or just to talk to their favourite teachers again. The college also arranges many seminars and guest lectures, to help students increase their horizons. The students are the heart of PMCA, and everything is done to make their learning easier.
Having a huge campus dedicated to only teaching Architecture, PMCA allows students to participate in many extracurricular activities. From painting the walls and benches to arranging for the various functions that take place in a year, to playing football on the basketball court, the students can do it all. The college has an auditorium hall, where everything from seminars, to a showing of movies that students participated in, and the annual Fresher’s Party, is held. There is also a podium in the entrance area where different fests are arranged and celebrated.
PMCA especially has a unique tradition where the Fresher’s Party is preceded by a week of fun games and activities, that includes asking your seniors to accompany you to the themed party, like a prom. Every year, a different batch is given the responsibility to arrange for all the functions. The whole college is divided into four different houses, which compete with each other in every aspect from sports to product designing, and costume designing to extempore, and the champions are crowned in the finale event of Annual Night.
PMCA also has its clubs where students can interact with both seniors and juniors that share the same talent or interest as them. Another high point is the site visits to different places around Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, which allow for greater bonding between the students, allowing them to create beautiful memories and to also get a glimpse of how architecture is practised in the real world. PMCA has also been a member of the National Association of Students of Architecture (NASA) since 2000, and have been crowned the zonal champions a total of 14 times since then.
With the global pandemic, PMCA had to shift all its workings online, but that has not made them forget to keep the students at the heart of it all. Seminars have become webinars, the Sports Club events have become about online games, and instead of site visits, we are shown videos of those places. The college has helped students to smoothly transition into online classes, with hopes to resume offline classes shortly.
For further information on PMCA, and on how to apply to study in one of the greatest architecture colleges in the Eastern Zone in the country, you can check out the official website link: https://pmca.ac.in/