Having been a part of KSM since its inception, Ganapathi has been consistently building energy efficient and climatically relevant architecture, following the firm’s rationale to maintain simplicity in design. While functional requirements remain the focus with due regard to climatic parameters, he believes that the design process is as important as the designed artefact itself. Research and exploration form the basis for the firm’s design approach of any project be, it a commercial space or a school.
Educomp School, Coimbatore
Located on the outskirts of the city of Coimbatore, the school’s architecture is exemplary in the way it has shown sensitivity towards the climate of the region, reduced solar heat gain and seamlessly interweaves outdoor and indoor spaces.
Given that the site experiences temperate climate for most of the year, the built form incorporates maximum openings to the outside to allow as much natural light and ventilation as possible. To protect the indoor spaces from sun and rain, a three-floor high skin wall is placed 1.5m from the classroom walls. This wall is finished in exposed brickwork and has pre-cast concrete louvers that beat the angle of the sun and cut direct glare. As a result, the classrooms do not have windows, but just large openings with a safety grill, fusing passive sustainable strategies in the structure itself.
American International School Auditorium, Chennai
The school’s design exploits the possibility offered by volumetric experiments. A simple architecture develops from straightforward but effective explorations of formal and volumetric possibilities.
The complex is a cohesive environment with auxiliary spaces for student interaction, dining and other group activities. Multiple forms and elements are brought together in a balanced composition such that the spaces flow into one another forming informal and intuitive boundaries between them. Natural light penetrates to most of the designed spaces through a relatively transparent facade. The building thus explores various geometries to create formal compositions and modern aesthetics.
Vidya Mandir at Estancia, Chennai
The basic concept of the institutes architecture originates from the creation of a micro-climate to counter the extremities of its climatic context. The design strategy focuses on a building that would respond to the hot and humid climate of Chennai.
The school has been designed as a naturally ventilated, single-loaded classroom building ribbon that runs parallel to the site boundaries. The building ribbons include a large courtyard in the centre and are punctuated by deep verandas of varying volumes on all the sides that act as wind tunnels. A perforated screen wall that protects it from the sun and glare envelops the building.