The Visvesvaraya Technological University project at Machhe in Belgaum, Karnataka has been a fulfilling experience in all aspects of architectural achievement. The idea was to create a unique institutional character for the spaces and forms that constitute the university campus. The result is a technological campus with modern buildings that retain the cultural ethos and traditional values. Meticulous, detailed planning was the tool used to erect buildings conceived with a strong yet unifying visual character arranged around a campus with a serene atmosphere conducive to exchange and growth of knowledge. One arrives at the entrance square to be lead up the science walk to reach the central square, which is flanked by the three main buildings of the campus, i.e. the administration, the library and the regional valuation buildings. From here, one can choose to turn right and walk under the pergola of the administration building to the residential area, or turn left and walk into the picture of the fort atop the hills as framed by the valuation building towards the academic area.
A peaceful atmosphere has been maintained on campus by restricting the movement of traffic to the peripheral ring road and emphasizing on pedestrian access to all areas. This arrangement also creates ample opportunity for interpersonal interactions.
THE Academic area is set in a calm and serene landscape, and maintaining this quietude is the emphasis on pedestrian access to all buildings in this area. The science walk leading from the entrance to the central square is flanked on either side by verdant woods amidst which the science displays are placed, interspersed with seating areas, making it an ideal setting for lofty academic interactions.
As India progresses into the 21st century all attempts contributing towards the building of the nation should reflect a Modern International image keeping in mind the traditional and cultural ideas.
A university campus needs to have a strong visual image clear, memorable and inspiring. University – the Centre of learning, bindu -Centre – Source of energy and inspiration. Keeping this as a guiding principle the entire campus has been planned with a modernist approach.
The buildings are designed in a ‘Modern Cubist Style’ but consciously incorporating the panch tatvas: Agni, Bhumi, Vayu, Jal and Marut. One can experience the use of these elements in the form of the water pool – reflected as the kund – in front of the library building, or several open to sky spaces – Aakash.
The aesthetics of the campus appear from the interplay of light and shadows, solids and voids also providing the essential visual connectivity. The quality of light and a micro climate created within the buildings by the use of non-imposing architectural devices like pergolas and skylights create user friendly spaces related in human scale.
Access & Circulation
To maintain serenity and movement of minimal traffic within the campus is pedestrianized. The arrival square together with the “Science Walk” acts as a transition space for a visitor into the serene atmosphere of the university.
The Central Plaza
The central plaza is a grand, awe inspiring monumental space in the center of the campus, with the library block on the axis. A water body in front of the library presents a refreshing view from the central court.
The huge clock tower defines the space but its modernistic design imparts it a symbolic significance. The age-old concept of the clock tower, with the state of art design imposes a timeless aura to the university.
The administrative block defines the western edge of the court. A square building comprising of two blocks in between which the pedestrian spine traverses connecting the academic areas to the residential areas.
It has a circular open to sky space with pergola. An interesting interactive space in the center of the building. Smaller courts in the corner further break the mass and lighten up the interiors.
The administrative building is thus directly accessible by pedestrian path as well as the vehicular road on its east & West side.
As you approach from the central road through the market square, the houses are in hierarchy of the higher grade to the lower grade. The houses are of three types’ bungalows for the VC, row houses for officers and professionals and the block of flats for service staff.
All of these elements are used at the micro and a macro level of the planning of the entire campus. These elements compliment the honest, minimalistic and pure character of the buildings.
The courts, plazas and internal courts – the Brahma stahalas provide the necessary interactive space within. Such spaces interactive as sense of orientation and a sense of belonging.
Inducing enthusiasm at a micro level, such spaces set a perfect environment and ambience required for the purpose.