NALANDA UNIVERSITY


NALANDA UNIVERSITY

The first International residential university

I wish to share with you a journey a journey that starts from the fifth

century CE and continues into the 21st century see many of you may have heard

about remains of the ancient Nalanda University. Today we pick up on the

journey after the elapse of almost thousand years 

About ruins is there any comma one never knows the exact size shape or form of

the buildings or the spaces in between or even the life that took place.  They

engage our thoughts and dreams and make the time and place ours.

Obviously as architects we observe these remains of the past in a unique manner.

We look at the ruins and wonder about the choice of their materials the

technology of their construction.   We wonder about the enigmatic forms that

beckon and challenge our imagination.We discovered that the site is at the cusp

of seismic zone 3 & 4 which has a high likelihood of earthquakes.

We also learn from the brief that this region is quite fertile and the soil is

clay.  This clay is very good for manufacturing burnt brick.  The subsoil

water levels are quite high and because of its up thrust the foundations of

buildings had to be heavy and thick to resist this force. Thick walls resist

earthquakes much better to the brief.





Also mentioned about the quarries used for the excavation of the material to

make the brick were converted into pools of lotus.  They became places of

aquaculture.  It is extremely important to understand the cycle of water harvesting

and the way it is tied to the making of buildings and the evolution of the

culture which celebrates this cycle.   The site of the new university is about 12

kilometers from the ancient ruins of the Nalanda mojave era. the backdrop to the

site is these wonderful Hills garage grills. Here is the town of rocky and the

huge blue expense next to the hills are the water harvesting tanks of the

Ordnance Factory   The Rajat Hills are not ordinary Hills

many pilgrimage sites are located amidst them.   It was here that Goutham Buddha

spent several months meditating and preaching at the great errata hill of

the vultures. This is sacred ground the question we asked ourselves how does the

University that is going to be established in these precincts connect

back students and faculty to this legacy of the past.while pondering on the

questions of the sacred.  We worked on connections to what exists on site if

you notice carefully on the survey drawing before you you will observe that

there are several villages that surround the site you. would also observe that

there is a lattice of embankments which carried the paths linking the villages.


For us it was important within the master plan to retain these embanked

paths so that in the future the villages were not inconvenienced. the proper

reading of the site allows for strategies that save on infrastructure

and building and allow reduction in capital and operational costs. From our

visits to the site before the monsoon it became apparent that water that collects

at these two points pays for the whole year .  There was a tank 

built around the campun that harvest rainwater. The tank is

bisected at its centre by pathways from all the four cardinal directions.  .It is

here at the heart of the site at the library for the university is located.

While focusing on the heart of the campus the concept of the Kalachakra

occurred to us the type secular tradition revolves around.  The concept of

time  and cycle diagram from the cycles of the planets to the cycle of

human reading it teaches the practice of working with the most complete energy

within one's body on the path to enlightenment.



Once the University is established on this side it will become the proverbial

pebble in the pond and send ripples of change all around.  The value of land

surrounding the campus will increase. The campus master plan needs to anticipate

and deal with this change .this diagram shows the different kinds of water and

the sewage that we generate which will be recycled .almost 80% is recycled.being

rich in nutrients it can be used for crops that we plan to grow on campus for

horticulture and all our landscaping needs. this should also help in reducing

our carbon footprint we are not dependent on mining water and depleting

precious groundwater sources further.  In fact we are water positive and

contributing positively to reduce water stress in the region the main entry to

the campus is from the northeast corner of the site  winding through the experimental

agricultural fields orchards and lakes to the entrance plaza of the academic

block more importantly the entire campus is designed for the needs of pedestrians

and cyclists a battery-operated bus system is also integrated into the campus design they

are charged through our solar recharging stations. they mainly operate on a 3.5

kilometer loop. It has been an endeavor to design an easily walkable campus from

the center of the campus the furthest building at the periphery is not more

than a 10-minute walking distance. 


What is quite exciting is how in a dense built masque porosity is achieved

through a variety of scales of spaces. The  building area occupies 8% of the

site area but because the built area surrounds the 368 meter by 3 and 68

meters Lake it occupies almost 40% of the site. leaving the other 60% of area

of the site via agriculture, orchards wetlands lakes and retention ponds in

The Kalachakra answer starts connecting every part of the campus

along the major axis through its heart including the surrounding villages the

two main entrances to the campus are located on the national highway gate one

being about three kilometres from the town.  In the future there is

another road proposed on the south side of the campus and three gates will

connect the campus through this side. There is a railway station that is

proposed near gate 3 and for the North entry connects the student residences

with the south entry connects the faculty and staff residences in between

the two are all the common facilities beginning with the academic Block.





Administration international center and the campus is on the east all facing the

central tank or thermal sagar. The west side of the tank has sports facilities

clubs and health facilities and stretched across the tank of student

facilities and shopping with the library at the center of the tank. a large

portion of the agricultural land is set aside as a flood plain to protect the

built area of the campus in the event of seasonal floods during the monsoon.

As you right with the campus gate you face the sacred Raj genius and a

meandering path through field takes you to the arrival plaza at the academy

o'clock .Vehicle you arrive in has to be parked at the campus gate in a

designated parking area and you switch to a battery sucking at the arrival

plaza your eye is directed to the Bodhi tree planted by Professor Amar Kesav

which faces the catenary ports linking the Academy o'clock with its various

schools on the night and the administration block unexplained.

Supports leads you towards commerce saga and the bazaars across it connecting the

students facilities the amphitheater and library beyond the depth of three meters

within our sight the soil is good for compressed soil earth block CSEB are

produced from soil compressed at high pressure.


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