Contextualised Design

Project: Manipal University, Jaipur

Architect: Hafeez Contractor

The university is located near Dehmi Kalan village, Tehsil Sanganer in Jaipur. The land parcel for the entire university development project is approx 156 acres and the plot is naturally divided by the NH8 Express Highway (Jaipur-Ajmer Highway) into three parcels. This division resulted in the separation of the academic and residential areas which are envisioned to be connected by a pedestrian underpass allowing the seamless movement of students on foot or bicycle from their rooms to the classroom.

The sites are further divided into two parts due to the presence of a high tension electrical line which has been promised to be made underground by the Rajasthan government. Up to the time the HT line creates a natural divide, which have been embraced as a central axis that serves as a major connection as well as provides for open spaces to the campus. On the university side, the new academic block is placed along this central axis.

The design appears to capture a glimpse of the bygone era by incorporating the features such as the Rajasthan courtyard, bright coloured facades, double wall construction, jaali work, etc. However, each of the above is provided with the very specific purpose of making a world-class Platinum rated campus and building. The colour of the buildings resonate the colour of the sand, the courtyard helps shading; the double walls, chajjas and jaali work differ for each of the north, south, east and west facades designed by carrying out detailed studies of sun path, wind rose, etc.

The residential side of the campus sits on a site of 56 acres and it comprises approx 3,000 student rooms, an 1,800 capacity triple cover food court, faculty housing, security block, industrial laundry, high side services and several areas of recreation. As per the demands of the university and students’ parents, the girls and boys hostels are separated by creating a grand avenue like the Las Ramblas of Barcelona. The driving idea behind the design was to create a thriving community based on the concept of ‘the medieval maze’ consisting of shaded streets and corridors, narrow deep and shaded courtyards and pergolas for shaded circulation.

Thus, the design has manifested itself with interlocking streets and courts, narrow skewed views, compact blocks and compressed movements. The entire campus reverberates the strong quality of a holistic and integrated community through its architecture. The master plan – the ground level experience and student feedback are testament to this. At the start of the project the land was filled with ‘kikad’ trees which were removed and deposited with the forest department.

The campus is now landscaped with several hardy plant species like white and pink bougainville, euphobiamilli red and yellow alamonda. Following are the awards received for Manipal University Jaipur:

  • Manipal University Jaipur campus awarded LEED INDIAN – PLATINUM rating for Energy Conservation and Environment Design 2016.
  • Manipal University Jaipur have been awarded LEED Platinum Certificate & Green rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) award for water management.
  • Manipal University Jaipur has been awarded as First Smart Campus for being pioneers and architects of India’s digital transformation, by NDTV and CISCO.
  • Manipal University Jaipur has been awarded the National Education Excellence ASSOCHAM Award 2015 under the category ‘Best University Campus’
  • Indo Global Architecture Education Excellence Award, Dec 2015
  • The MUJ Academic and Administrative buildings have been awarded 5-Star ratings by GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) making us the ‘First University in the country to receive this honour’
  • The Academic and Administrative buildings at Manipal University Jaipur have been awarded LEED Platinum Certificate & Green rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) award for water management.

Fact File

Design Brief: New Academic Block, Boys Hostel, Girls Hostel, Food Court (1800 capacity – Triple cover), Facilty and laundary

Design team: Hafeez Contractor (Principal Architect), Karl Wadia (Senior Associate), Apoorva Sharma (Associate), Shital Powar (Senior Architect/Project Co-ordinator)

Consultants: TRC Engineering Pvt Ltd (Structural), Shobha Ltd (Services, Lighting), Design Studio (Landscape), Terravirdis (Environment)

Built-up area: Academic Block – Phase I – 1.25 lakh sq ft; Residential Block – Phase I & II & Ancillary Block – Completed 10 lakh sq ft

Site area: 156 acres

Year of completion: 2015 (NAB Phase 1)