The New SPA Campus
Status- Competition, 2009
Location- Vasant Kunj, New Delhi
(with Charu Ahluwalia Architects)
A National Open Design competition to masterplan the new campus for SPA, at a new site in South Delhi.
What attracted us was the site was its green cover and a huge canyon possible left after the widespread quarrying that plagued the southern Ridge of Delhi. Retaining the green cover within the canyon as a mark and tribute to the ridge that continues to connect the many cities and histories of Delhi, the design finds its seeds in the depth and response to the canyon.
The deign treats the site as a landscape for learning, a garden edged walls that are reminiscent of Mughal and pre-Mughal Delhi. The walls house a vertical program of studio spaces, that are interchangeable and flexible on the city face and on the southern edge they house the student hostels and dining facilities.
The design also focuses on the rain water harvesting and regeneration of the quarried depression on the site as part of the landscape. In the space between these walls is carved out the landscape for learning, low lying buildings of fixed program interspersed in the landscape amidst paths and walkways through lightly wooded tracks, that have areas of student activity and sport. The design seeks to transform the site into a landscape for learning and engagement.
The design is strongly biased to pedestrian traffic and discourages the use of motor vehicles within. It also moves away from the standard formats of axis and hierarchical spatial structure, to arrive at a more democratic and liberating environment. Special attention is paid to the sun, especially in locating the entrance of the academic complex through a court on the edge of the canyon, and on the south face of the academic block.