By Savitha Hira
Photography: Courtesy Ar. Rajesh Patel
Education is being redefined in terminology and essence. Ar. Rajesh Patel reconstructs the multidimensional facets of a management-learning program from the ‘environment-positioning viewpoint’...
The role of an architect is not merely constructing an optimally functioning layout but comprehending the true essence of the deliverables in the building-user connect. Through appropriate physiological and cerebral positing, with due consideration to contemporary aspects of modern-day education and methodologies, Ar. Rajesh Patel has accomplished the architecture and interiors of the third institute of S P Jain School of Global Management, Australia Campus at Sydney Olympic Park, after those in Dubai and Singapore.
Asked to design a “world-class business school” that would out-do the best of the global campuses, Rajesh rose to the challenge of transforming a warehouse building into a pulsating youthful learning centre. Maximizing on natural light as the primary aspect of an airy open atmosphere, a double-height central atrium provides the core connect of the structure that further spreads out its arms to the open cafeteria, recreational activities and VC kiosks and serves as the main student entry into the centre.
Giving the classrooms an arched form brings the students closer to display equipment and the instructors, whilst it dually optimizes space utilization. The undulation in form finds a reflection in the mindset of the youth through a vivid spatial experience instead of a dead rectangular classroom, as is the observed norm.
Colour palette here is used as an important tool: strategically brandished to define individual areas and harmonize interior spaces, anchoring the existing concrete floor, black acoustic ceiling and red columns. More significantly, it is the singular youth hook-up, second only to technology. The campus is well integrated into the cloud computing, i-pad and i-phone gen next, integrating technology into mainstream design including need-based switching system through centralized computerization; state-of-the-art electronic signage and lighting systems, amongst others.
Going by industry standards for construction methods and material finishes, and maintaining the warehouse look and feel in the final design, the large educational campus breathes the essence of raw human bonding in the desired shell of a brick-and-mortar structure; a well-planned footprint that has been accomplished from concept to completion in just 6 months.