Resting on 26 acres of hilly land, Sandip Foundation – College of Engineering in Nasik, is envisioned as a “tapestry of light and shade”, where imparting knowledge is as important as building memories. Through its landscape, architecture and design, the campus gives the green parcel of land a new purpose and character. The entrance lobby, administration building, library, labs, academic blocks, workshop, canteen, terrace and amphitheatre are arranged in the seed-shaped plot. The built form is synchronised with the surrounding and the design approach acknowledges topographical forms and existing landscape features, shares Sanjay Patil, principal, Environ Planners.
Providing character to the land is the concept of an “open palm” that forms the basis of campus zoning and circulation. “It is used to evolve spaces along contours, with common areas forming the palm and spaces needed for each engineering stream radiating out as five fingers,” explains Patil. Following the curves of the plot, the design creates different levels of learning, interaction and recreation that seamlessly flow in and out of the built forms. Each zone opens out to a central open space that also functions as the amphitheatre. While the different blocks are internally connected as well, the common courtyard provides an additional link. The entire composition is viewed as a double-heighted structure through the scale of corridors.
The architecture is defined by the locally quarried stone. Patil says, “Most of the stone is quarried from the site itself and used in a coursed manner to impart a sense of discipline.” At the campus entrance, a curved stone-clad wall over the green landscape lends a striking first impression. The use of the local stone is also visible on the ground floor, where it gives the facade a distinguished institutional feel and is in contrast to the plastered walls in the rest of the spaces.
Whether it is being flooded with ample daylight or thermal comfort is assured by the double-skin facade, the learning spaces are as modern in design as they are rooted in their surroundings. “Splashes of colour accentuated by daylight lend life and cheer. North facing glazing drenches the space in daylight, while eliminating glare and heat,” shares Patil. The hub of social interaction is the cafeteria that stands as an indispensable part of the campus design. It seamlessly extends into the amphitheatre enclosed within, providing students with space for discussions, interactions and team activities. Patil adds, “These areas emerge from the earth’s natural slope and with minimal intervention into the existing contours. Conical mechanical exhaust vents in vibrant china mosaic patterns pierce the green roof adding sculptural elements to the landscape.”