Faculty: Shubhra Raje | Kevin Low

TA: Harsh Desai

Between Campus and Commons-Situation: Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad

The academic campus as a hallowed precinct distinct from its surroundings has persisted within our architectural imagination since education began, when the first centers of knowledge were monasteries and gurukuls. Privileging the entitled, they made knowledge sacred and gave birth to the paradigm which maintains that theoretical excellence can only come through freedom from the practical mundane and its constraints. The studio suggests that the IIM Ahmedabad is no different in this regard and reconsiders this distancing.

By analyzing the iconic campus through a systematic inquiry into its configuration, programming, and consequence, we first identified problems inherent in the existing design by way of vital relationships it failed to consider. Subtle, yet profound intervention/s that will resolve the problems identified were then proposed by the students, in a simultaneous attempt to forge relevant new relationships with the neighborhoods that surround it, to address the urban island that the campus currently is. Shifting the emphasis from design solutions derived primarily from the aesthetic expression of form and volume to that of solving real problems, students rekindled the potential of programme, the meaning of use, and continuity of the built environment, as an understanding of what constitutes critical architecture in service of responsibility over mere reputation

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Studio Unit

between campus and commons: a) the negotiated masterplan (below) b) vignettes of the 12 interventions (top)

a) campus axonometric (top), with the interventions located in relation to one another b) The image series at the bottom show the shift in emphasis from buildings to built environment (left), an example of documenting activity matrix and understanding the meaning of use (centre), and discovering relevant questions at the scale of the campus (right)

Intervention 04: the new library plaza, with bookstore, cafe and campus central library. The existing Ravi Mathai auditorium and plaza is to the east.

a) Intervention 03 (top): detail of the modifications to the eastern facade of the existing library on campus, which is repurposed as the chancellery, bookending the east end of the campus plaza, and receiving the east visitor drop-off. b) Intervention 07 (centre): details for the transformation of the east central dining hall into a student union. c) Intervention 09 (bottom): east-west section through the management development centre’s central courtyard. the introverted building is opened up by introducing a formal reception at the east end, and a sunken courtyard as an extension to the lower-level dining, which connects back to the main campus.

a) Intervention 06 (left): creating a new western entrance for the campus, with the west dining facility converted to an incubation centre, and the threshold between the dormitories and classrooms activated through smaller cafes, meeting spaces and other amenities, transforming it into a campus market street. b) Intervention 10 (right, top): details of proposed faculty housing on the east campus; reimagining density and thresholds c) Intervention 11 (right, bottom): details in densifying student housing on the west campus