mcculloughmulvinarchitects

Thapar University Learning Centre

The University invited us to unify a disparate campus dating from 1956 by providing some new and innovative buildings to deliver new types of learning space for students and staff. Together with DesignPlus Associates Delhi, we developed a masterplan to draw the campus together while designing a number of buildings within it – student accommodation and a Learning Centre, followed by a Sports Centre, Venture Lab and University Guesthouse.

Our buildings were located along a new shaded pedestrian covered walkway, excluding cars and reversing circulation patterns on the site. Strong environmental concerns- the provision of cooling and shade and embedded reference to Indian models of architecture and walled gardens - were important in the design.

The Learning Centre (60,000 sq.m) is a composite sculptural group of red sandstone clad volumes visible from across the campus, and incorporates a new library, lecture theatres and a computer science building. Redolent at once of an Indian castle, the form of the mountains, and a piece of natural geography, the dramatic hollowed-out internal spaces of the three blocks open into a cooler, under-podium space which becomes the centre of the University. Interiors share common materials – raw concrete, plaster and timber. Each has a generous gathering space linking ground and podium levels with a giant staircase to facilitate meeting and sharing, out of the intensity of lecture halls, computer science labs, and reading spaces. Sustainable principles are followed and cooling loads in interior study spaces minimized by using the podium as a buffer zone and climate modifier for the shaded spaces underneath, stone jali screens on the facades dapple the intense light before it enters the buildings.

  • Address: Patiala, Punjab, India
  • Client: Thapar University
  • Collaborating Architects: Designplus Associates Services Pvt. Ltd., Delhi
  • Civil & Structural Engineer: Pristine Solutions, Delhi
  • Quantity Surveyors: Vinod Markanda, Delhi
  • Landscape Architects: Integral Landscape, Delhi
  • Facade Consultants: K. R. Suresh, Axis Facade Consulting, Mumbai
  • Contractors: Gannon Dunkerley & Co. Ltd. / ANJ Mumbai
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