Intricate Spatial Interactions
Architecture + Design|August - September 2020
Project: Bajaj Institute of Technology, Wardha, Maharashtra

The Bajaj Institute of Technology is located in Wardha, a historic town in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra that is famous for its Gandhi Ashram and the various institutions created by generations of the Bajaj family, through the Shiksha Mandal Group of Institutions. What will intrigue any visitor to this campus are the beautiful murals embossed within the wonderful ‘jack-arched’ ceilings, with mystical triangles acting as large ‘eyes of the campus’ to the world outside. The campus also has a complex and interesting system of bridges and staggered walkways, creating a variety of spaces. The attractive entry and the wonderful internal community courtyards all tie this creation into a matrix of visual and design identities.

The approach to the site is flanked by other educational institutions run by the Shiksha Mandal. The idea of the building was propagated by the client, who was confident that a unique style of educational agenda and a sensitive architectural design would sustain the institute, irrespective of the prevailing scenario where engineering colleges were being mothballed. Having been associated with noted architect Christopher Benninger and his team for over a decade, the client simply gave a one-line brief—‘make it unique’.

The site is spread over 35 acres, out of which about 23 acres were demarcated for the construction of the academic area. A part of the site already had a hostel and some associated residential facilities that were retained. Once the design process started, the areas for design were factored in not as per the mere space and design standards as set down in various academic books, but as per good design practices and the practical knowhow gained by the studio while executing various projects over the last quarter of a century. The resulting area program was almost double of what was prescribed by the All India Council of Technical Education.

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