A lesson in rhythm and composition
The IIMB campus was designed by celebrated architect B V Doshi. The campus is a destination and a pilgrimage for students of architecture and practising architects, with the architecture of the academic and administrative blocks becoming a case study. Completed in 1983, the original stone architecture is now complemented by the greenery, just as B V Doshi had intended.
- The 54,000 sq mt IIMB complex, built on a 100-acre campus, is based on the design of the town of Fatehpur Sikri, laid out by Akbar in the 16th century. The architect, B V Doshi, achieved this vision by linking a network of corridors, courtyards and external spaces allowing for future extensions.
- As one of the few Indian architects known and respected internationally, B V Doshi is often introduced as a man who trained in his craft under Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn, a pronouncement that though accurate, tends to attribute his achievement to their personalities rather than his own talent. IIMB’s design overturns this presumption, showing us a highly original, creative human being who is as much in love with architecture as he is with life and learning.
- Fatehpur Sikri’s courtyards and the gardens of Bangalore merged in B V Doshi’s mind’s eye. He picked up the gardens and put them in the courtyards, and the vision for a ‘glocal’ campus was born. Instead of courtyards that are dry and rigid, he made green corridors, which allow for academic exchanges to be carried beyond the classroom.
- The design of IIMB reflects the architect’s perfect sense of scale, proportion and light.
- From the logo that portrays the rays of the rising sun to the design of the IIMB complex, light plays a crucial role.
- The interplay of walls and openings, light and shadows, and solids and voids change the character of the main building during different times of the day and during different seasons.
- The high corridors are sometimes open; sometimes partly covered with skylights and sometimes with only pergolas to heighten the spatial experience.
- The width of the corridors is modulated to allow for casual seating.
- Access to classrooms and administrative offices is provided through these corridors.
- The design offers students and faculty the ability to see and feel nature even when inside the classroom.
- The central courtyard or the central pergola gives one the feeling of being in a place not unknown to one’s inner being.
- The courtyards and corridors are sensitive to the Indian context of community and environment. They are lessons in rhythm and composition. They show that the interior must be relevant to the exterior, and that life, art and architecture can co-exist.
- The IIMB campus was envisaged as a place to be inhabited, as a place to facilitate the course of human interaction.
- The design therefore conserves energy – human or mechanical, optimizes technologies, adopts innovative ways of building and uses alternative materials.
- Three-storied hallways, open quadrangles with ample area for greenery, sunlight streaming in through pergolas, geometrical roofs and a rough texture finish are the unique features of this ‘glocal’ design.
- IIMB’s design therefore symbolizes a deep understanding of the past and a comfortable relationship with the present. The aim, said B V Doshi, was “to create an atmosphere where you don’t see divides and doors”.