APR Institutional Building

Winner – Visvesvaraya Technological Institute, Gulbarga, Karnataka by Kalayojan- Urban Designers and Architects

Global Future Design Awards 2019
First Award
Category: Institutional Building
Firm: Kalayojan- Urban Designers and Architects
Architect: Sanjay Porwal
Team: Ar. Sanjay Porwal, Ar. Kshama Rane & Ar. Pathik Joshi
Country: India

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The rocky terrain of Gulbarga hosts the eastern regional centre of the VTU with a history of Islamic rule is dotted with architectural remnants of the bygone era. The hot and dry cityscape is defined by arcades and domes and punctuated with heat relieving water-bodies. This defines nostalgic architecture of Gulburga.

The Layout

The layout of VTU Gulbarga was dictated by the placement of the administration building at the southwestern corner of the site, which is far removed from the entrance at the opposite northern edge of the site. This placement was guided by the clients’ request for vaastu guidelines to be followed which necessitated the placement of the administrative headquarters in the south western direction.

The rest of the planning mainly involved an effort to preserve the visual dominance of the administrative building despite pushing it into the background, while simultaneously achieving the required levels of connectivity between the various elements of the campus. This was achieved by taking the approach road from the entrance, past The Statue, extending right up to the administration building, without being is visually interrupted by any other built form. This approach road forms a sort of an unintended axis about which the other buildings find their places.

The layout also displays the usual segregations between residential and academic zones as well as between the vehicular and pedestrian movement on site. This helps maintain a pedestrian connectivity between all the buildings within each zone, enhancing the peaceful, academic environment on the campuses vehicles are kept on the outside.

The layout is essentially dominated by three buildings, the administrative headquarters, the post graduate studies building and the library. The library stands out on the entire campus, physically as well as visually, being a centrally placed curvaceous building at the edge of the waterbody on site, enjoying its pride of place as the sanctum sanctorum of the campus.

Visual forms and Architecture

In VTU Gulbarga, where pure geometrical forms like the circle and square have been juxtaposed with domes, arcades and screen walls from Gulbarga’s cityscape, to bring about a functionally efficient campus design while being faithful to the city’s cultural ethnicity.

The administrative building dominates this Gulbarga Campus, with its massive dome supported on a large rotunda, capping an impressive cubic mass. The dome houses the workplace of the highest decisive body of the university’s administration, the senate hall.

The linear block of the post graduate studies building, which curves gently with the approach path striding alongside it, has screenwalls enveloping its longer east and west facing sides, to cut the harsh heat of  Gulbarga before it enters the building. The stepped arcades that adorn the west facing screenwall are reminiscent of the city’s indo saracenic architectural idiom.

The semicircular plan and strategic placement of the guest house serve to offer the occupants a panoramic view of the entire academic zone while being physically closer to the residential side. The finishes on all external surfaces involve colours bordering on whites and bright, which effectively reflect and cut down the heat of Gulbarga.