Centre of Excellence - COA
Building Type: Educational Building
Size: 8500 sq mt
Location: Bangalore University
India houses one of the largest higher education sectors in the world with a growth of 400% since 2001. This substantial growth in capacity of this sector has been to serve India’s large college-aged cohort. However, India’s Gross enrollment ratio of 27.1% as of 2022 is much lower than that of countries like China (51%) and most of Europe and North America (80%). Additionally, for the past few years, educational campuses have been faced with multiple challenges due to the pandemic and climate crisis. The future of educational buildings needs to address these challenges by focusing on becoming a welcoming campus focused on student experience and adapting to the new forms of learning and discovery.
With this idea, Sifti Design studio approached the design competition of Excellence Centre for Council of Architecture, To be built on the lush green campus of Bangalore University. An attempt has been made to find an architectural language that would address the intense urban context of the city. Housing diverse functions such as an auditorium, labs, exhibition hall, Restaurant, Administration, and accommodation, The design is characterized by flexibility of design, allowing the building to adapt to future changes in learning needs and requirements. A central courtyard connects the functions creating an engaging environment for chance encounters and conversations amongst variegated users of this building. In order to create interest at the human scale, this courtyard has been further split into two levels which aid in creating variety and fascination at the entrance point. Through greening of the building at all levels, the design encourages bringing the experience of plants from a binocular scale to personal close proximity for the users.
To optimize and develop a human-centric form of the building, simulation study of Indoor Daylight, Wind analysis, Urban heat island effect, and indoor thermal comfort have been carried out. After identifying the maximum ground coverage and creating a building block accordingly, The study of Useful indoor Daylight helped in identifying an optimum building width of 12m with a central courtyard maximizing exterior surface areas leading to reduces chances of glare and maximum daylight entering the building. Further wind study showed breaking the building into three blocks to create entry points would promote wind circulation within the complex and could facilitate the flow of wind into the building due to the creation of low-pressure areas around the building. The universal thermal comfort index for the courtyard was calculated to understand the heat island effect of the building and explore solutions to create the courtyard thermally comfortable for a higher footfall. It was observed that through the addition of natural plantation and provision of overhead bridges the temperature conditions of the courtyard became substantially more comfortable. Finally, the indoor thermal comfort of the building block was studied and building services such as vertical circulation and toilets were placed on the east and west facade to reduce the direct solar heat gain of the building. These early-stage interventions through building simulation were done keeping in mind they would aid in reducing the energy demand of the building eventually.
For the reason of easy and efficient circulation, public areas such as the auditorium, exhibition hall, and conference center have been placed on the ground floor, while private functions such as the residential quarters and laboratories have been placed on the higher floors due to the lower traction of users in those functions. On the upper level, the functions are connected with bridges which create a visually interesting experience while moving from one function to another. By creating an occupant-centric design the building promotes a sustainable and joyous experience for the user.