VLB Janaki Ammal College of Engineering & Technology, Coimbatore

THE SITE is located in the same range of foothills as the Sri Krishna College campus. In comparison to the other campus, here the site is rougher with a lot of sheer drops and huge rocky outcrops scattered across the site at various places. The original college buildings had already been in existence for a decade by the time we were asked to design the expansions. Since there was no integrated vision for developing the campus, the design exercise was restricted to a building by building approach. Facilities were added by fitting them into the natural contours and the surroundings were landscaped suitably. This brought about interesting pathways around the rock formations and structures that are loosely connected at various levels.

The expansion included the post-graduate block, engineering department, information technology and classroom buildings, multi - purpose hall, dining hall and boys' hostels all built at different stages as and when the need arose. The slope was again used to maximum advantage to bring in varying levels of spaces and connectors that doubled as gathering spaces. The main road that runs through the campus and terminates at the hostel provides vehicular access to all buildings while pedestrian walkways follow a different alignment skirting the rocky terrain.

The post-graduate building was the first facility that was taken up during the expansion of the campus. This building which also houses the library is very different in style. At the time of designing this facility the campus was largely vacant and had a strong natural character with an unhindered view of the foothills of the Western Ghats and rocky outcrops as mentioned earlier. The design was meant to merge with the features of the landscape by using natural materials like stone for walls and tiles for sloping roofs. The ambience of a rural environment was captured by building low structures grouped together with courtyards interspersed between them keeping the scale at a more human and informal level. To eliminate the use of timber for environmental reasons, the roof structure was designed using rectangular steel tubes replicating the visual quality of a wooden roof.

Client : Sri Krishna Institutions

Area : 50,000 sq m

Location : Coimbatore

Role : Architectural & Engineering Design and Project Management

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