Breaking The Mould With Brick: The Indian Institute of Management
Located in Ahmedabad, India, the Indian Institute of Management stands as an exquisite example of innovative educational infrastructure. With Louis Khan as its architect, it is not surprising that this face brick campus challenges the traditional and makes room for systemic transformation.
Known for his curious mind and his wizard-like foresight, Khan attracted many admirers in his time. One such admirer and fellow architect, Balkrishna Doshi, persuaded him to design the monolithic, 60-acre building that would eventually become known as a world renown business school.
Balkrishna Doshni sought after Kahn because of his inquisitive and critical attitude surrounding educational infrastructure, and tasked him with creating a new, modern school for India’s top business students.
Using face brick as his primary building medium, Khan called into question the idea that the classroom is the central point of focus in spatial planning, and through his design he re-envisioned a space that encouraged learning to extend outside of classroom walls.
This new attitude towards educational practice is reflected in the large hallways and plaza, which have become additional settings for learning to take place – these areas make room for unstructured academic gatherings or meetings and promote an active, collaborative form of learning.
Fusing modern architecture with Indian tradition, the Indian Institute of Management boasts a unique architectural style which is fitting for a pioneering schooling structure.
Enormous omissions within the face brick façade not only reflect abstracted patterns seen within Indian culture, but are also positioned to perform as light wells and natural cooling systems to protect the interior from the harsh desert climate. Enhancing this natural cooling system, the building material’s inherent thermal properties (which absorb heat during the day and release it at night) ensures that students experience comfortable temperatures throughout the day.
With practicalities such as heavy traffic flow, extreme temperatures and maintenance to consider, as well as design goals that required an amenable building material, face brick was undoubtedly the perfect choice to help Khan ‘break the mold’ and transform the way that educational infrastructure is designed.
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