Accessed through a prominent and dominating site on National Highway No. 75, the campus of ITM School of Business merges easily with the surroundings and compliments its neighbor- the majestic Aravalli Ranges.
At first glance, the building sits like a solid stone block with a lightweight industrial roof hovering over its supported thin surrealistic legs. This image does two things; creates a mystery of what lies inside, and secondly, reminds us of a most rudimentary way of protection from the harsh sun, a large plane creating a shadow with a massive footprint. The roof provides a sense of relief to the inhabitants and makes the ITM School of Business, an inherently green building. The open parasol roof over a hollowed out space allows the hot air to escape, establishing convectional currents that permits the natural winds to flow in, cooled by the surrounding green landscape. The plants on the first level retain moisture, thus moderating the temperatures at the ground level and keeping the air refreshed.
Behind the solid mass formed by the traditional dholpur clad walls lies a fluid interior space that drifts in from one court of the building to the other. The ground level is built on the principles of the traditional Indian Courtyard and provides students with a large open space in the center that accentuates a feeling of openness and freedom. The clean grey walls, the amoebic sculpturous water body, and the modern landscape, blobs on the floor, reflecting the need to create ripples within the otherwise structured business environs. The expansiveness that is showcased with large courtyards is mirrored on the first floor, providing natural ventilation and keeping the building sustainable and eco-friendly with minimized usage of artificial lights during the day.
Again, inspired by the traditional Jaali works of Gwalior, the building uses this element as modern screens on the southwestern side, which also happens to be the double height entrance space. Standing tall at six meters and facing west, these screens cut the harsh Gwalior sun glare, protecting the building, and in the process creating changing patterns over the blank interior walls. These white dholpur sandstone screens are not just an aesthetic treat that cast interesting shadows and play with light, but also an architectural must for the high temperatures of Gwalior.
This public space is an example of M:OFA’s mission to provide the subcontinent’s urban landscapes with sustainable architectural and design solutions. “The studio aims and provides soul-elevating and inspiring, yet highly functional structures and continues to strive towards forward-thinking, cost-effective sustainability.”