National Institute of Fashion Technology, Kangra

Architectural Case Study Dated:  April 12, 2014
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Design by, Architect: Manish gulati

Program: National Design School / Institutional 
Client: NIFT, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. 
Size: 2, 50,000Sqft 
Cost: 45Crores 
Status: 40 % Complete

The National Institute of Fashion Design or NIFT as is popularly know, located at Kangra, Himachal Pradesh; was commissioned to MOFA as their winning entry during a National Level competition held in 2009.

The master plan is designed as a zero discharge 'Green' campus to be constructed on a steep hilly terrain within the existing area of banyan, mango and silver oak trees. The concept of NIFT Kangra began with an understanding of fashion design as an art form, expressed through a combination of visual graphic and textural quality. Chosen to be weaved with the surrounding context of agricultural fields rich in textural depth, paths in forests growing into streets of a future urban fabric and fields translating into urban footprints, the building possessed a strong sense of vision and belonging from the beginning.

The knitting threads from the existing agricultural terraces are woven to form uniformly flowing patterns that comprise of many intersecting functional cuboids. The pattern closely follows the contours on site. The design then develops vertically; an abstraction of the way the Great Himalayas developed; layers of matter folding onto each other, twisting with sudden forces, leaving in the process, gaps or cracks in between that become passages and places for various interactions.

Special Design Features 

“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 is a play of rooms conceived as positive spaces inter spaced with light courts, which are conceived as negative spaces in the design. These courts are distributed organically around the trees not only in plan but also in sections connected with circulation corridors, also within the modules, a reminiscent of the organic streets of the villages of Kangra. These streets with changing levels, wind around trees a mysterious experiential labyrinth with multiple beginnings and endings, ever inspiring students with fluid thoughts during their stay.

Extreme care was taken during the construction to protect trees through a series of retaining walls, the design of rooms at times being altered and adapted to accommodate the spread of banyan and the mango tree branches.

 “It is sheer joy to experience this wonderful play of nature and architecture, within multiple verandahs and terraces where design students work with nature surrounding them and sweet tasting mangoes literally falling in their lap form the trees that surround them”

Green building Aspects

‘’NIFT has a very strong International presence. In the world today, it is needed to take responsible action in the preservation of the natural wealth. We as an Architectural Design Firm are and have been as committed to making Sustainable Green Building Solutions” the emphasis on the waste generated, solid waste, storm water, sewage is clear. Various parameters are employed to make the campus self sustainable; Ground Water recharge, Sewage Treatment plants, water treatment plants for use in irrigation, flushing non portable uses on campus ,Solar Geysers and Solar landscape fixtures that are fitted in the more small to large design aspects  “We have already consciously woven the guidelines of GRIHA Rating for New Construction and Major Renovations into the Campus Master Plan design after studying the Site / land topography, Climate, connectivity and local materials & techniques’.

The second phase of construction for NIFT project is under construction which includes the academic campus, residences for the professors and the remaining Girls hostel.

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