Entering a new phase of life comes along with both excitement and nervousness. For an aspiring architecture student, making the right choice becomes crucial for the looming five years and all the more beyond! In the Indian architectural industry, the name—School of Planning and Architecture or “SPA” has held a high value and a tone of familiarity. The legacy started with the institute in Delhi that has been one of the best for architecture and planning in the country since its early inception in 1941.
It was in 2008 that the government of India resolved to expand the league. Two more SPAs were established in the cities of Bhopal and Vijayawada.
About the Institute | SPA Bhopal
Situated in the heart of the country, the SPA Bhopal is an Institute of National Importance along with the other prestigious IITs, NITs, and AIIMS. Just over a decade old, the institute has gained tremendous merit. Its ranking as the 7th best architectural college according to the NIRF rankings of 2020 justifies the stature. The institute aims to yield the best architects and planners who strive to bring the nation’s physical and socio-environmental development at par with global standards.
Offering courses at undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral levels; it invites aspiring students from all over the country, and abroad. It conducts the programs for Bachelors in Architecture and Planning as a 5-year and a 4-year course respectively. At the same time, more focussed and dedicated courses are offered at the postgraduate level. These include the 2-year programs for the Masters in Architecture and Planning. The latest addition to the catalog includes the Masters in Design program that began in 2018.
Institute and the Work Culture
Within a young life period, the institute has evolved from sharing the MANIT campus in the city to have its devoted 75-acre campus with infrastructure in development. It is located 25 km away from the city of Bhopal, in a much anticipated educational hub. The area comprises other renowned institutes like IISER, while the NIFT and ICMR campuses are also under construction. Despite the distance from the city center, SPA Bhopal establishes its presence in the city of lakes. The vast campus contains two lakes that support a diverse ecosystem.
The environment of the campus itself becomes a catalyst in the process of education. Besides, it aids the institute’s vision to develop a “University of Imagination” in the process. Dedicated departments for architecture, planning, and design display a vibrant culture of the creative disciplines. Qualified, knowledgeable, and experienced professionals embody the team of faculty members. While frequent guest lectures give a deeper insight into the industry.
The SPA campus houses an amenities block that functions as the current academic block, while the proposed building for the same is in the works. Expected to be finished and functional in the forthcoming few years, it will house several studios, classrooms, a 400-seater auditorium, and an open-air theatre.
An open studio concept forms the basis for education. For a student of SPA Bhopal, the studio becomes a complete learning sanctuary. In the manner of most architecture colleges, it becomes a place where the students have toiled and burned through the midnight oil. Eventually, it is also the place where they see the result of their hard work. A well-endowed library, a design workshop, and graphics & GIS labs complement the learning system. Three hostels—one for boys, one for girls, and one with separate wings for both are present along with the faculty and staff residences. It resonates as a residential campus with a 24×7 learning environment.
Sports facilities like a football field, a basketball court, and badminton courts within the hostels bring a work-play balance to the institute premises. The provision of frequent bus trips to the city makes up for the remaining balance of student life.
Life at the Campus
A scenic environment graces the school’s campus through all the different seasons. While the students and staff alike find refuge in the canteen from the scorching summer sun, the evening skies become a source of calm. The monsoons feature a drizzle throughout the day followed by a windy evening perfect for a rejuvenating walk. As the lakes get filled, the campus might get an opportunity to enjoy the unmissable sight of a peacock spreading its feathers.
The desire to live, learn, and play in an outdoor environment becomes bliss within the campus. At long last, a hot cup of coffee keeps the spirit high through the cold winter days and nights.
The students at SPA Bhopal are keen to engage in the reinvigorating environment of the campus. The 10 AM to 5 PM studio hours leaves the window for other student activities. There is immense enthusiasm to undertake both national and international student competitions. Moreover, the campus stays alive with the students participating in the diverse extracurriculars. While some find their calling in performing arts, others find different mediums such as arts and crafts, photography, literature, sports, and so on to express themselves.
The numerous student clubs keep the creative culture floating within the campus. Simultaneously they also represent and bring distinction to the institute’s name in external events and inter-college competitions.
The Future | SPA Bhopal
In the upcoming years, SPA Bhopal is sure to have the profundity of its name enhanced at the global level. As the young alumni of the college set up, the talented aspirants have much to look forward to. The rigorous five years at the college make them a proud “SPArtan”, as the students at the campus are referred to informally. In the end, the institute forms a home away from home while preparing the students for the journey ahead!
- Spabhopal.ac.in. 2021. योजना तथा वास्तुकला विद्यालय, भोपाल |School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal. [online] Available at: <http://spabhopal.ac.in/Home.aspx> [Accessed 12 June 2021].
- Nirfindia.org. 2021. MHRD, National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF). [online] Available at: <https://www.nirfindia.org/2020/ArchitectureRanking.html> [Accessed 12 June 2021].