Text: Meghna Mehta
Project: The Street
Location: Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, India
Designer: Sanjay Puri Architects
WAF Shortlisted Category: WAF Completed Building | Large Scale Housing
Taking cues from the old streets of Mathura, where this project is located, this 800 room students’ hostel has an organic structure. Designed as 4 storey structures divided into 5 linear blocks, the built spaces are organically placed across a wedge shaped site almost like a snake twisting and turning along the length. Sitting adjacent to repetitive hostel blocks on the east and west, the new hostels create individual spaces with a discernible identity as they stand out as unique elements within the large university campus.
The orientation of all the buildings is planned with a view to generating large north-facing garden areas overlooking a vast playground. The hostel rooms are punctuated with a wedge shaped bay window oriented towards the wonderful north-facing vistas that invite a soft diffused light within. Each room also has openings towards the internal corridor to facilitate cross ventilation. The internal circulation spaces are well ventilated and illuminated with an influx of natural light owing to small break out spaces that are formed at each junction of the linear buildings. This also facilitates an energy efficient building, minimizing heat gain in the hot climate. Rainwater harvesting, water recycling and usage of solar panels additionally make the project more energy efficient.
Two focal areas have been created at the ends of the linear buildings to house cafeterias, game rooms and a gymnasium opening up into the gardens and terraces. Each of the public spaces is designed as a large volume with 20 feet high ceilings.
The organic layout of the buildings characterizes the spaces within the site. Every block is differently coloured, while also painting the internal face of the bay windows of the hostel with unique vibrant colours creating a distinct identity.
The Street is contextual to the climate and the orientation of the site catalyses these parameters, thus creating varied experiences and changing perspectives for the user of the space in each part of the 6 acre site.