Geometric Configurations

Geometric Configurations

Project: Residential Hostel, King Georges Medical University, Lucknow

Architects: Cosmic Designs Pvt Ltd, Lucknow

King Georges Medical University was established in 1905. It has two campuses – CIS Gomti which is about 80 acres and Trans Gomti which is 9.723 acres. The Trans Gomti Campus was designed and existed as a low-rise low density residential campus. The architects were asked to develop a master plan for accommodating residential units, hostels and common facilities while fully utilising permissible FAR of 150.

The hostel is one of the first buildings which has come up. It was conceived as a two-block bold structure with a strong geometry. The high-rise unit contains residential accommodation and the low-rise part contains dining, kitchen and common activity area. The ground floor is mostly on stilts. Eight more floors over the stilt floor were developed as a residential area resulting in a nine storeyed block. All rooms are single seated with a shared balcony for two students.

A set of 10 rooms is provided with a common activity area. Each floor contains 42 rooms, two sets of conveniences, 21 balconies and four common activity areas. The large open-to-sky court is connected to the entrance lobby. It welcomes one at the entrance. The pathways in the courtyard lead to two-wheeler parking spaces through landscaped corners. In addition, the stilts and central courtyard together create very effective venturies helping in natural ventilation.

The air comes from outside and rises above through the central courtyard and disperses into rooms of each floor. The same air accelerates while it reaches doorless enclosures of toilet units to escape into the open. One airwave segregates bathing sub block from the sub block containing water closets and urinals. The other airwave ventilates the sub blocks. Thus, the toilets are constantly ventilated without using mechanical means. The architects wanted to give the students an experience with surprise elements. The largeness of the hostel building was broken up into smaller experiences to explore the spaces created. The modular and repetitive spaces give opportunity to students to move through and interact with it. Each student reacts differently as per his/her perception and training.

The building was never worked out to achieve a particular style. The architects simply responded to the requirements of the project. The client’s requirements, budget, the architect’s experience in designing hostels and their perception of running a hostel dictated progress of design. Ultimately, stored images in the mind regarding ideas, shapes and colour dominated the emergence of the design for the hostel. A striking design element is the use of bold colour on the elements in the exterior. The curvature of the orange staircase wall is emphasised by partly enclosing it and partly exposing it creating a drama in the experience. The first building block of the hostel is complete and so are many other buildings in this campus. However, we miss the drama which was envisaged to be created by the irregular placement of the other two similar hostel blocks. We are waiting for the start and completion of the other two blocks.

Fact File

Client: Vice Chancellor, KGMU

Design team: D S Bhui (Director Architect), Shweta, Mukti Kishore, Vishal Mathur

Consultants: RK Gupta & Associates, Shekhar Design Centre, Sawhney Associates

Contractors: Uttar Pradesh Rajkiya Nirman Nigam

Built-up area: 11,350 sq m

Cost of project: Rs 17 Cr (for 352 rooms)

Year of completion: 2008