Building Name – Pearl Academy of Fashion
Location – Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Client – Pearl Academy of Fashion
Architect – Morphogenesis
Contractor – R G Colonizers Pvt. Ltd.
Structure – N M Roof Designers Ltd.
Plumbing – Tech Consultancy
Electrical – Integral Designs
Project Year – 2008
- The institute is located in a typical hot, dry, desert type climate on the outskirts of Jaipur in the soulless Kukas industrial area, about 20 kilometers from the famous walled city.
- It ranks third in the top 10 fashion design institutes in India, and its design needed to represent the seriousness of its academic orientation through its formal geometry.
- The goal of the Architect was to build a low-cost, environmentally sensitive campus that would serve as a model for other institutions.
- The architects researched passive cooling strategies that are traditional to the region, especially the use of jaalis (fretted screens), shady courtyards and step wells.
- Each is an integral part of the architectural vocabulary and social life of the region.
- One of the finest of Jaipur’s 18thcentury buildings is the Hawa Mahal, a tapered block with finely screened windows that provide shade and admit cool air.
- Step wells resemble deeply depressed courtyards and are often enriched with stone carvings. They serve as neighborhood gathering places and accommodate the heavy monsoon rains after summer without flooding, while providing access to the water table during the months of drought.
- Morphogenesis reinterpreted these features to create a long low block that is rooted in the land yet seems to float.
- They excavated the site to a depth of four metres and raised two storeys of classrooms, studios and offices on pilotis above this void.
- The second storey juts out above the first and both are clad in an irregular checkerboard of fretted panels attached to a metal frame that is set 1.25 m out from the facade on all four sides.
- The grain of the jaali and the placement of the horizontal panels were calibrated to provide optimum protection from direct sun.
- The space between jaali and wall acts as a thermal barrier and drip channels running along the inner face of the screen allow for passive downdraft evaporative cooling.
- That can reduce the interior temperature by as much as 20°C with a minimal use of air conditioning.
- The original plan was to build a storey of student rooms over the classrooms to provide daytime insulation but that construction has been delayed.
- Earthen pots (mutkas) about 35 cm in diameter are placed on flat roof, 2.5 cm apart, and the spaces between are filled with sand and broken bricks and covered with a thin layer of concrete. The fill and the air within the pots provide insulation.
- Throughout the day, students spill out from classes, the library and cafeteria onto the walkways and down to the shady underbelly of the building.
- Cooler air is drawn into this space and steps lead down to a shallow pool of water recycled from the sewage treatment plant and augmented by rain, which functions as a thermal sink.
- As temperature drops through the night, water dissipates the heat accumulated during the day.
- Even in summer, this protected courtyard is an inviting place to gather- for a performance, an exhibition, an alfresco lunch, or a casual encounter with friends.
- It promotes rain water harvesting and waste water re-cycling through the use of a sewage treatment plant.
- 8 Local stone and mosaic tile in the patterned pavement of the courtyard enrich the extensively glazed concrete-frame building.
- The maetrial used for construction are a mix of local stone, steel, glass, and concrete chosen keeping in mind the climatic needs of the region while retaining the progressive design intent.
- The exterior is painted orange to set off the jaalis, but the interior surfaces are white, to reduce heat absorption and create a cool backdrop for the bustle of activity and the brilliant colors of women’s saris.