NIFT Residential Campus, Himachal Pradesh

The concept for the NIFT Kangra begins with understanding fashion design as an art form, expressed through a combination of visual graphic with textural quality. We chose to weave the building with the surrounding context; a visual graphic of agricultural fields rich in textural depth and variations, as a natural growth, where paths in the forests grow into the streets of a future urban fabric and the fields translate into urban footprints.As a respect to the existing trees on site we took up a challenge of designing 150 rooms for the girls hostel without cutting a single tree. Designed through a cellular growth of cubes over the existing contoured topography, the Girls hostel was designed as a play of rooms conceived as positive spaces interstice with light courts, conceived as negative spaces.These courts were distributed organically around the trees not only in plan but also in sections connected with circulation corridors also within the same modules, reminiscent of the organic streets of the villages of KangraThese streets with their changing levels, winding around trees continuing like a labyrinth create a mysterious story that has multiple beginnings and endings, ever inspiring the students of design to never have constant rigid ideas but a fluid flow of thought during their entire stay here.  Extreme care was taken during the construction to not only protect the trees through a series of retaining walls but at times, the design of the rooms altered and adapted in order to accommodate the spread of the banyan and the mango tree branches. It is a sheer joy to experience this wonderful play of nature and architecture, within multiple verandahs and terraces where, the design students would be able to work with nature surrounding them and the sweet tasting mangoes literally falling in their lap form the trees that surround them.The entire campus planned as a zero discharge ‘Green’ campus was to be constructed on a steep hilly terrain within the existing old banyan, mango and silver oak trees. As a respect to the existing trees on site WE took up a challenge of designing 200 rooms for the girls hostel and residences for the professors without cutting a single tree.Extreme care was taken during the construction by the executing agency DSIIDC and the WE engineers and architects to not only protect the trees through a series of retaining walls but at times, the design of the rooms altered and adapted in order to accommodate the spread of the banyan and the mango tree branches.

Design: MOFA Studios Pvt ltd
Design team: Manish Gulati, Tanushree Gulati, Abhinav Chaudhary, Shuchita Jain, Abhinandan Mandal , Aakrirti Sood, Rohit Garg, Fawaz Thengilan, Sargam Tondon, Shabina Shahin, Auro Ghosh, Gunjan Kaul
Photography: Manish Gulati, Abhinav Chaudhary, Kamal Sidhu, Shiv Ashok Singh

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