Management Develeopment Centre, Ashok Leyland, Hosur

THIS TRAINING facility for executives needed to be designed as a getaway from the noise and tensions of the shop floor in the industrial town of Hosur. To this end, the facilities were designed mostly as single level structures to restrict their scale. The buildings were located around small courtyards and semi-outdoor areas with the intention of promoting informal discussions among the users apart from their formal classroom training.

The design features such as the tiled roofing, courtyards and the stone textured masonry walls drew heavily from the rural model which was found to be easily adaptable to the design objectives in mind. Traditional tiled roofs are usually punctuated by a finial at the ridge which announces its culmination. In this instance, the bronze reflective glass skylights which capthe tiled roofs provide the necessary definition and at the same time fills the lobbies which are located beneath them with soft, natural light. These skylights, made of standard curtain-walling sections with bronzed glass and topped by a powder-coated aluminum casting, blend the new with the old very satisfactorily. The main lobby in turn opens out to a courtyard creating an interesting interplay of spaces. The courtyards are landscaped in traditional symmetry and pergolas have been used to create not only an interesting play of light and shade but a sense of enclosure to define the entrances to the dining halls.

Traditional settlements in India have always had an organic free flowing form as opposed to the rigid formal layouts of European inspired planning. Visually, this presents one with a cluster of similar or near similar modules which through a process of accretion, grows in size and complexity to cater to the forces of change without changing its basic character. Rigid, end-state structures on the other hand are incapable of being added to or modified in any way without seriously damaging its original appearance. In a growing economy, this organic form, with its dynamic qualities, presents one with a planning solution which can be effectively used in meeting long term objectives.

At the Management Development Centre, we have used this approach with good effect. The buildings are conceived of as a cluster of modules of varying sizes which are, visually, loosely linked to one another. Strong visual axes and formal open spaces which are usually used to connect buildings visually have been consciously avoided to create this flexibility. Instead, we created loosely defined external spaces which will permit easy addition of new facilities and expansion of on-going activities - all of which can be easily assimilated into the overall fabric of the campus.

Client : Ashok Leyland Ltd.

Area : approx 2500 sq m

Location : Hosur

Role : Architectural & Engineering Design and Project Management

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