Morphogenesis Architects designed the campus of Pearl Academy of fashion. It is located in kukas, 20 kilometers away from Jaipur. Also, the climate of the site is typically hot and dry. The campus design allows the indoors to blend with the outdoors seamlessly, creating an interactive space as well as inspiration for artistic works.

Various natural building cooling techniques help to cope up with the harsh climate of the site. This climate-responsive campus is both traditional as well as contemporary in style. As a result, these passive environment control methods have reduced the dependence on mechanical methods. Moreover, these techniques combat the budgetary constraints as well as the adverse climate of the site. A sustainable approach of design in amalgamation with heritage values is the main ideology behind the architecture of the building.

Pearl Academy of Fashion- climate-responsive passive habitat
Pearl academy of fashion
Pearl Academy of Fashion- climate-responsive passive habitat
Location map

Pearl Academy of Fashion Case study

  • Project Name: Pearl Academy of Fashion
  • Typology: Institutional
  • Location: Jaipur
  • Completion Year: 2008
  • Client: Pearl Academy of Fashion
  • Climate: Hot and Dry
  • Built-up area: 2,15,278 Sq ft
  • Plot size: 12, 250 sq m (3 Acres)
  • Architects: Morphogenesis
  • HVAC: Design Centre
  • Electrical: Integral Designs
  • Plumbing: Tech Consultancy
  • Landscape: Oracles
  • Structure: N M Roof Designers Ltd.
  • Contractors: R G Colonizers Pvt. Ltd.
  • Design Team: Sonali Rastogi, Rudrajit Sabhaney, Anna Kristiana Bergbom, Shruti Dimri, John Alok Decruz

Sustainable design features:


Double skin façade protects the building from the harsh outside environment. Moreover, this double-skin façade creates a thermal buffer space between the building and the surroundings. Also, the outer skin is the traditional Rajasthani “jaali”. This jaali sits 4 feet away from the building.

Pearl Academy of Fashion- climate-responsive passive habitat
Double-skin facade
Pearl Academy of Fashion- climate-responsive passive habitat
Rajasthani jaali on the facade

Additionally, the jaali allows diffused light to come in as well as reduce direct heat gain. In short the Jaali serves the purpose of filtering light, air as well as privacy. When the diffused light comes in, it lights up the studios and classrooms. Additionally, it reduces the direct heat gain and controls the temperature of the internal spaces.


The architect used locally available materials such as stone, glass, and concrete for the construction of the building. The design team sourced the earthen pots from local potters. As well as the concrete jaalis were constructed on the site.

Pearl Academy of Fashion- climate-responsive passive habitat
Local materials are used

Ventilation & day lighting:

Open to sky central courtyard keeps the surrounding united and helps in cross ventilation. The use of stack ventilation and evaporative cooling techniques makes the campus energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. Also, the courtyard gets indirect sunlight into classrooms and helps in the creation of naturally ventilated and lit singly-loaded corridors. For 80% of the total operational hours, the temperature of the campus is as per the comfort of the users.

The building campus is constructed on a 9M grid. It also is a single bay, naturally lit, and cross-ventilated campus. This grid configuration allows for daylighting, ventilation, and a flexible partitioning system for the years to come. Daylight illuminates 90% of the gross floor area.

Section through the building

Also Read: Habib University- Design A Learning Community


Earthen pots are in use for the thermal insulation of buildings in India traditionally. The Pearl academy campus also uses this technique for thermal insulation. Earthen pots(matka) of 35 cm diameter are sourced from local potters and placed on a flat roof at a distance of 2.5cm in between. The gap in between the pots was filled with sand and broken bricks and covered with a thin layer of concrete. The filling and the air in the pots act as insulation for the structure.

Matka filling
Earthen pots placed on a flat roof


30% of the total site area is used for landscaping. A thermally comfortable microclimate is present within the building with the help of a water body. This waterbody is fed by recycled water from the sewage treatment plant. The water body, as well as the green spaces, are mostly in the shaded zone. This lowers the evaporation of water and aids in evaporative cooling. During the night, when the temperature of the desert drops the floor slowly dissipates heat to the surroundings and makes a thermally comfortable environment. However, the building is self-sufficient in terms of captive power and water supply.  There is a provision for rainwater harvesting as well as wastewater recycling through the sewage treatment plant.

Waterbody in the central courtyard
A concept derived from stepwell

Form optimization & orientation:

The form of the building is a perfect rectangle with minimum exposure to the surface area. Also, the two stories of classrooms, studios, and offices are on the pilotis above this void. A ramp is present in the thermally banked underbelly. Additionally, the underbelly serves as large recreation and exhibition area, houses the cafeteria and spill area for the students. The natural cooling techniques make this area usable throughout the year, even in summers.

Building orientation according to the sun path

Also, Read Alhamra Art Council- Aga Khan Award Winner

Evaporative cooling:

The entire building cools naturally by using a special technique. In addition, in this technique, the architect creates a natural thermal sink by raising the building above the ground. To do this, the ground was scooped out up to 4 meters and filled with sewage treatment plant water. As a result of this, the underbelly becomes a micro-climate generator and the stepwell section cools the building from within as well as the air coming inside.

Building raised above the ground by pilotis
Interactive spaces near the water body

Courtyard and stepwells:

The basic concept is to create self-shading silver courts to keep the solar glare out and maintain comfortable temperatures in the internal spaces and open step wells. While allowing sufficient daylight inside classrooms and studios.

Also, step-wells are ponds in which the water reaches the bottom by descending a set of steps to the water level. Therefore these bawris are Rajasthani heritage architecture and are present in old forts and palaces.

Sufficient daylight entering classrooms and studios

Planning and zoning:

However, the spatial distribution within the campus is very efficient and functional. Public interaction spaces are present along the water body to keep it cool throughout the day. Moreover, the classrooms are close to the library and auditorium for convenience in activities.

Pearl Academy of Fashion- climate-responsive passive habitat
Ground floor plan
Pearl Academy of Fashion- climate-responsive passive habitat
Landscape plan
Pearl Academy of Fashion- climate-responsive passive habitat
Model of campus showing different zones
Pearl Academy of Fashion- climate-responsive passive habitat
Organic voids created within the building

Also, Read California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, USA

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