CEPT- the School of Architecture is how it was started. Their first project done by the Ahmedabad Education Society with the help of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the Government of Gujarat, and the Ford Foundation in 1962. And then they established further academics like faculty of planning, technology, design, and management. The school and the other academics came under the CEPT University in 2005. Until then it was affiliated under the Hemachandracharya North Gujarat University from 2002 to 2005.
Case Study of CEPT
- Architect: Balakrishna. V. Doshi
- Funding: The Ahmedabad Education Society
- Aided by: The Ministry of Human Resource, the Government of Gujarat and the Ford Foundation
- Established: 1962
- Floors: 3 with multiple levels
- Floor Area: 700.15 sq. m (Faculty of Architecture)
- Site Area: 12.5 Acre
- Location: Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Among the congested heavy traffic city buildings of Ahmedabad, the college lies as one among the educational buildings in one corner and is 3.1km away from IIM Ahmedabad.
Planning of CEPT
Being an architect, I have always questioned myself about what is architecture about. After visiting this place, I have realized that architecture is all about learning. Being designed under the guidance of the Pritzker prize-winning architect B.V. Doshi no wonder it is one of his masterpieces. The block is designed with the intention that architecture is about learning rather than teaching. Also, the planning makes us feel confusingly interesting by playing with different levels on the campus. So the lawn in front of the block with a hilly look is used for public interaction. The main concept of the block is to make interactive spaces instead of just making classrooms and studios.
The major compliment of the building is it is still evolving. Its main concept is open, simple, and interactive. The building is largely opened to outer space to provide interaction among the students of different classes. The building has a simple look which is the main theme to provide low-cost construction with a high-quality environment. As we said before the building has more interactive space to give the space to learn more things among the students.
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The building is built with a load-bearing structure with 750mm thick cross walls. While the beams of the slab run through the east-west direction the partition walls run through the north-south direction. Without any ornamentation, the surface of the building contains exposed bricks and concrete. Not many materials were also used. There are just bricks, concrete, wood, mild steel, and glass were used in the construction. Also, these construction components provide thermal comfortability to the built environment. The thick walls provide heat insulation to the interiors of the building.
Spaces of CEPT
The basement is mainly a multipurpose area. The students play and interact with each other in this space. As they don’t have any hindrance in between they can use for cultural activities too.
Studios of CEPT
With a large opening to the outer space, the studio is abundantly filled with light during the day. There are panels on the walls which help the students to put up their works and explain them. Every studio of different classes is in different levels which metaphorically speaks about the level up for the different years of the classes. The classes are of double heights with wide openings giving high ventilation to the studios.
There is an open courtyard in the center that connects the library, studios, art exhibit, and workshop. It also plays a major interactive space with a play court on one side and also pavements in the outer which connects every block.
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Landscape at CEPT
There are trees surrounding the campus which provide a perpetual changing pattern of light and shade. Also, the blocks interconnect through brick paving and terracotta tiles. However, the varying levels are maintained by steps in between which itself becomes the common interactive space. Also, at one side of the courtyard, the sky is covered by clothes that are connected by strings below where the students play outdoor games.
The interior design by the students’ creative ideas is hanging from the roof and the walls. There is also a play with light and shadow, especially in the corridors. Some places receive direct sunlight while some places receive no sunlight at all.
Library of CEPT
The outer of the library is made of the changing walls which can be turned and opened. Thus, the view from the inside of the library would be pleasant to feel the natural light and shadow. However, the library doesn’t contain brick walls for the outer side. They are actually made of concrete which is also exposed. The library does not have any windows because the outer walls themselves act as one. This block was constructed only later.
The stairs at the rear side of the main building also give us an interesting pattern where there is a basement lead under the staircase. Also, those surprise staircases lead to the first floor of the main building. Moreover, the staircase is constructed completely with reinforcement.
Design Philosophy of CEPT
The main aim for the architect is to produce better architects for society by not just recruiting highly qualified teachers but also providing a better environment to learn. However, the major difference between other colleges and architecture colleges is that the students of architecture have to stay in their blocks and work for 24hrs of the day too. Hence much care is to give while designing a school for architects. They have to be provided with recreational space, interactive space, and workspace combined together. We the architects are the people working in art combined with science. Hence, we are partial artists. The art should not teach in a closed non-creative environment made of just white boxes. However, there is art in every artist which should be fed every time.
In addition, the three texture walls, exposed façade, and the interiors, varying floor levels, interactive spaces, open courtyard, and beautiful lawns everything gets combined to give us a beautiful workspace for the students of architecture. No wonder Sir B.V. Doshi is one of the legends.
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