Built following Calcutta and Ahmedabad, the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore is among the top-ranked B-Schools in India. The architectural marvel built by B. V. Doshi is an exemplar of modern architectural heritage in the Indian context. Although known for his influence in Kahn and Corbusier, the inspiration for Doshi’s design is his unique ideology. The campus follows the hallmark theme of its predecessors with its rawness in texture and enormous scale. The structure juxtaposes nature with branches creeping over the walls, thus standing out from other campuses in India.
Concept and Philosophy
As the architect states, the aim was “to create an atmosphere where you don’t see divides and doors”. Thus, the spaces transition smoothly as thresholds and passageways, distinguished through light and shade. The architecture does not focus on a single point but aims at multi-focal points throughout the campus. Thus, not a single image but multiple experiences will imprint themselves in the mind of the visitor. Moreover, the design takes inspiration from the ancient city of Fatehpur Sikri. The apparent similarity to the Mughal city lies in the courtyards and green corridors enriching the campus.
Facilities and Accessibility of Indian Institute of Management
Every block within the campus premise is accessible to one another. The main block of the campus opens into a reception space that gradually transitions into classrooms and an auditorium. The additional classrooms and sports complex by Mindspace Architects attached later to the campus complements the existing design. The hostel blocks are adjacent to the campus, contributing to smoother accessibility, with the canteen in an equally ideal location. The broad staircases provided are aesthetic and functional, which connects to the upper floors of the campus.
Climatic Response to the Spatial Arrangment
The campus sits over 102 acres of undulated terrain with a gentle slope. The tropical rainforest greenbelt that landscapes the site passively enhances the climate. The blocks arranged of varying volumes facilitate restricting the harsh rays into the campus, while the courtyards provide indirect sunlight. The well-maintained ecosystem of the campus incorporates and is home to a variety of flora and fauna. The construction follows the natural contours of the site with minimal modification to the existing condition. Thus, the arrangement is amorphous and organic unique to the site alone.
The corridors formed around courtyards facilitates the hierarchical arrangement of spaces on the campus. The varied volumes of space blend via threshold pathways. The visual continuity is uninterrupted as the view from any floor is visible from any point. The fluidity of barrier-free spaces is in harmony without difficulty in navigation.
The courtyards are large enough for each block to illuminate the entire campus compared to its scale. The provision of such openings also considers the enhancement of textures and focal points.
The main motive in the design of the classrooms is to not limit itself within the four walls. Thus, the room is flexible in its design that encourages students to use them to their comfort.
Courtyards, Corridors and Fenestrations of Indian Institute of Management
The courtyards and openings are a vital aspect of the IIM campus. The determination size and location of each fenestration depends upon the scale of the block. The manifestation of each courtyard is natural and unique that depends on the vegetation suitable in the area. The indirect light befalling onto the campus brings a spiritual experience for the occupant. The windows minimise the use of glass or grills for a minimalistic facade. The recession of windows in the form of seating promotes community discussion and gathering. The corridors are open on either side with partly/ completely covered by pergolas for side walks and pathways.
Materials And Textures
The primary materials used in the campus are hand-chipped granite stone and concrete for the walls while a rough and polished Kota stone for the floor. The walls are devoid of plastering to bring a rustic ambience to the design while reducing construction costs. The neutral tones stand as the perfect backdrop to the light entering the space and the lush vegetation. The beauty of the campus lies in the playful animation of sunlight that changes the view every minute. Other materials find its use in cladding and to establish focal points or harmony.
Sports Complex of Indian Institute of Management
The Sports Centre is a new addition to the IIM campus with its construction completed in 2016. The language of the sports block to the existing campus is similar and blends well with the concept. The use of bright colours is a discernible aspect of the context of the site. Built by Mindspace architect, the complex is close to the hostel blocks and football ground. Such a location is suitable as hostel students tend to use the football ground after class hours. The existing vegetation remains undisturbed and designed according to the natural slope of the current site. The two-storeyed building also consists of a broad staircase, courtyards and corridors with facilities such as a semi-open swimming pool.
The IIM campus in Bangalore has a lighter theme and peaceful ambience compared to the one in Ahmedabad. While IIM-A is imposing with its sombre tones, IIM-B assumes a more reassuring form. Thus, two structures with a similar scale can bring a diverse experience to the occupants. Also, that doesn’t indicate one better over the other. Moreover, the response of a community is not comparable, considering the cultural and societal requirements. Doshi’s vision of a community-oriented and climatic responsive design resulted in successful experimentation that carried forth in his future ventures.
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