Posted on: February 1st, 2015 by wp-indigo

At a time when most medical care facilities across the country are aiming to expand their horizons and outreach towards a higher patient turnover, the Muljibhai Patel Urology hospital at Nadiad, sought to create a center to impart training to surgeons across the world through the setting up of the Jairamdas Patel Academic Center, JPAC. This project was an effort to establish a center for excellence to further the level of endoscopic surgical skills and diagnostics in the context of an already established world renowned center for urology.

The academic program is primarily designed for practicing urologists to enroll for sessions under the instruction of eminent medical professionals from various parts of the world. The facilities included were namely, laparoscopic labs with simulators, wet lab with facilities for demonstrative procedures, networked classrooms capable of distance learning, an auditorium facility capable of linking all the 4 operation theaters at the hospital simultaneously and capable of relaying and accepting visual data globally in real time and finally a library and resource center with documentation and research facilities.

The intent of the institution, its program to create a highly focused interior environment was paradoxical to its broader physical setting within the envelope of a chaotic residential built fabric. One needed to discover relevant contextual filters. The existing trees provided the visual clues to orient views and allow light. A strict adherence to the program meant – a completely dead environment. Surgeons were meant to “focus”. No natural light or ventilation in the labs and classrooms was a mandatory requirement. Open spaces leading to these areas were the only opportunity to communion with the natural world.

An elevated connection linking the new and the old defined the controlled precinct of the entrance court, enclosed spaces punctuated with courts was a simple spatial organizing tool. The building is oriented along the N-S axis lengthwise, a result of the site dimensions.

Openings were designed to control glare and afford privacy from terraces of adjacent apartments. The programmed spaces where centrally air conditioned. Semi open areas such as foyer spaces and stair wells use passive means of air change such as gravity vents and a chilled water based ambiator.

mkm school

Posted on: February 1st, 2015 by wp-indigo

This village school up gradation project was part of the CSR initiative for ‘The Torrent Power Ltd,’ in Mehmadpur village in the Sabarkantha District of Gujarat.

The existing school had several problems. From ad-hoc additions to non-engineered expansions over thirty years, the building had suffered water damage and was in need of structural repair.

More importantly, the absence of toilets for girls in the school had compounded the drop out rate amongst girl students over time.

Designed and resurrected with a shoestring budget, a new lease of life was infused into this campus. Some of the initiatives that brought about the required change were mainly,

An Assembly hall for about 600 students with adjunct spaces for 400 students or more was the new insert on campus. This was also meant to work as a meeting hall for the local community, a general performance space for children.

Girls & boys toilets: The low water use hygienic Eco- toilet model was adapted with great ventilation and a light court with vegetation that was fed by run off water from the hand wash sinks.

The toilets were fitted with a system for intermittent flushing and cleaning of floors. This ensured an odor free environment at all times.
An incinerator was also detailed as an adjunct to the girls toilet so as to dispose sanitary waste in the right manner.

Adjunct dining space for 75 students along with an area for utensils and drinking water.

A Rainwater harvesting system was planned for providing drinking water. The tanks were part of the foundation for the assembly hall but were not built.
We also conducted an orientation of the facilities built involving the teachers and students to ensure correct use, responsibility and upkeep through the CSR initiative of our clients.

HBK School

Posted on: March 24th, 2017 by wp-indigo
The HBK School is located 45 kms north-west of Ahmedabad, on the periphery of the town of Chhatral. The master plan comprises of 3 built structures defining a congregational scale outside and inner courts defining core of each school. A kindergarten school, two high schools and the entry pavilion complete the ensemble.

Conceptually the design addresses key concerns of creating a cool protected core which becomes the central space that coalesces movement and also is a receptacle to harvest rain water underneath. Instructional spaces, library and labs open on the periphery through large shaded openings, to the large existing mango and neem trees. Ample natural light and cross ventilation help in creating a cool and comfortable micro climate inside the spaces throughout the day. 2.4 lac litres stored rainwater suffices the annual drinking water requirement of the school.

Shardashish School

Posted on: February 1st, 2015 by wp-indigo

The VMKM (Vadgam Mahila Kelavni Mandal) is a trust that runs the Shardashish school at Chhapi, in the Banaskantha dist. of Gujarat about 150 kms. North of Ahmedabad. The new campus for the school was part of the CSR initiative of the Torrent group based in Ahmedabad. The site admeasuring 10 acres is barren and contoured. The composition of the land is sand, silt and clay with scant vegetation. The ground rises about 7 m gradually from the eastern access point along the road to the highest point in the south west corner of the site. The overall region however, is fertile, while ravines mark the earlier paths of water and define the larger grazing zone or “Gauchar lands”.

The program for the school campus was to include, a pre-primary, primary, secondary and higher secondary school, administration, an assembly hall, playground, library, and congregational spaces. The higher secondary block, assembly hall and administration block were completed in the first phase.

The broad design strategies address the following issues.

Creation of a central institutional core to which individual buildings could relate.

Occupy the mounds lightly and playfully so as to create a cascading built form that scales and shades.

Define a central space with built edges around and preserve the periphery for future growth.

Locate the entry along with public functions that overlap with community use along the road edge, thereby addressing the identity of the school with the local community.

Ecologically and technically appropriate strategies for achieving thermal comfort, judicious use of water and improving the bio diversity of the site and adjacent lands.

Defining the site precinct with a continuous, 2 m wide natural hedge, instead of a compound wall. This was aimed to encourage biodiversity, address erosion, improve the soil quality, and encourage nesting. Planting of fruit bearing trees and shrubs was part of the initiative along with a careful selection of plant species that encourage a symbiotic inter-relationship to overcome scarcity of water and extreme heat.

Recycling all water from wash zones except soil waste to the planters and soil using French- drains feed water loving grasses and plants such as canna and bananas. Storm water is guided and directed away to follow the natural terrain, slowed by pits along swales to encourage percolation and prevent run off.

Alternative construction methods. The structure uses aerated autoclaved concrete blocks, locally quarried stone, lime mortar and lime plaster in combination with moment resisting R.C.C. frame systems. Random rubble masonry in 1:2:9 lime cement /sand mortar defines the plinths and all retaining structures. This is the single unifying gesture at the ground that frees the lime-plastered walls from the ground, up on a level to define a datum against the lay of the land.

Special emphasis on sanitation, drinking water, disposal of sanitary waste using chutes, incinerators on site, flushing and cleaning systems to ensure an odour free environment, audible messaging system in the toilets along with visual written instructions were some of the new initiatives on the project to orient the users.

Plan organisation and its components.

The entry forecourt to the school defines its urban response. A forecourt leads to the main entry; the access to the public reading area and its perch looking back into the forecourt and beyond completes the ensemble.

The school blocks orient East-West with a linear open space between them making way for the westerly breeze. Shaded spaces and passageways give respite from the glare and heat during work hours. The careful interweaving of shaded access to classrooms and adjacent open courts provide for interesting variations in scale. All services such as toilets, stores and drinking water stations are functionally oriented to act as heat buffers to the west.

The administration block and the school blocks define an open space that leads to the central open court. The sense of porosity at the ground level was important to connect the various structures experientially.

The central courtyard is the main place to congregate. The school block, administration block, assembly hall and the retaining walls compose the space.

The assembly hall is perched midway on the contour to the south. Designed as a simple pavilion, it straddles the higher mound to the southwest and defines the central court. The assembly hall also carves out an open amphitheater to the south, shaded by a movable fabric overhead screen for shade.

ghada school

Posted on: February 1st, 2015 by wp-indigo

Village Primary School, Ghada, Dist Kutch, Gujarat India

The Context

Ghada village near Bhuj city in Kutch was severely affected by the earthquake on Jan 26th 2000. Comprising about 90 families, largely dependent on employment as farm labourers in nearby fields in an arid region, economic survival is one of their most difficult challenges. UNICEF runs a small program through a portable structure adjacent to the site where the new school building was to be constructed. This project was sponsored by a non-profit organization based in Mumbai.

The Site:

The new building was located exactly on the ruins of the old. The building, which collapsed, was an important landmark in this village and its resurrection was planned so as to rekindle the memory of the old. A grove of 200 trees was proposed as a foreground to the school with a view to educate the children about aforestation and the importance of trees in our ecosystem. Every inhabitant of the village was to plant one sapling, and nurture it. All existing trees were to be preserved and incorporated within the ambit of the new building.

The built response:

The school was planned along a north south axis, keeping the east façade parallel to the adjacent public street. The plan of the school is quite simple with an entry space leading to a passage, two class rooms, the headmaster’s office, play area, a congregational court and toilets. The main building block, which houses the classrooms, are linear and act as a very simple interface between the street edge and the court beyond. Its identity as a public institution in the village is achieved through its simple robust form and siting, while the internal scales respond to the needs of the children who use the school. The west-facing verandah is a device to keep the harsh afternoon sun out and small high openings on the east façade provide adequate light in the classrooms. The choice of rough sand stucco textured and painted terracotta walls, white-banded windows is in response to the use of such elements locally in the dwelling form.

Transportation of material to the site was a huge cost, which the project could not afford. It was decided to recycle rubble from the debris of the old in the foundations, which was also expressed to define the lofty plinth. The super structure was built out of hollow and solid concrete blocks, which were manufactured on site using a hand press, and cured in a water pond. The roof slab was cast in RCC with broken china mosaic finish from the top to cut heat gain in intense summer months.

Locally available skilled and unskilled labour along with appropriate use of materials and finishes helped us to maintain a very low cost on this project. The area of construction was about 3500 sq.ft, which included, covered as well as semi open spaces at a cost of Rs.800,000 , which is equal to approximately, 17,000 U.S.D.

DHORI school

Posted on: February 1st, 2015 by wp-indigo

The village of Dhori in Northwestern Kutch was devastated by the Earthquake in Kutch, on 26th of January 2001. The village school was completely destroyed and was to be reconstructed from a fund made available from the Prime Ministers Relief Fund. The new school was proposed on the existing building site that was cleared away, for the new construction. The school is located as a prominent public building on the street edge, connecting to the main village square. The orientation of the building was worked out in response to the harsh climatic conditions where the summer high temperature averages about 110 F.

The overall spatial response was to create a usable, shaded interior courtyard shielded on all sides by the built mass. The class rooms flank the north and east edges of the court, which are linked through a shaded walkway to all other administrative areas and shared facilities like the prayer hall, the laboratories and the library.

The high volumes on the west and south are designed to give shaded respite to the class rooms and the court even during the most intensely hot afternoons. The building structure is treated as four separate building blocks with adequate expansion joints to account for seismic movement. All exiting conditions comply with the seismic zone requirements for this region. The school was completed in January 2001 and has an important position in the hierarchy of institutions in the region that the people relate to.