Sa­cred Ge­om­e­try...

Architecture + Design - - Structured Institutio­nal Design - Project: Dr Ambed­kar In­ter­na­tional Cen­tre, Jan­path, New Delhi Ar­chi­tects: RT & As­so­ci­ates, Noida

The gov­ern­ment pro­posed to es­tab­lish a cen­tre in Dr. Ambed­kar’s name in the cen­tral vista area in New Delhi, bound by Dr. Ra­jen­dra Prasad Road, Raisina Road and Jan­path in front of Jawa­har Bhawan.

The al­lot­ted land con­sisted of 5 MP bun­ga­lows on Jan­path which were cleared to cre­ate ap­prox 3 acres of land for the cen­tre.

The cen­tre was con­cep­tu­alised and en­vi­sioned as a world- class in­sti­tu­tion of na­tional im­por­tance ded­i­cated to a multi- di­men­sional study of so­cial jus­tice; mean­while, the em­pha­sis was to cre­ate an ed­i­fice in­cor­po­rat­ing Bud­dhist sym­bol­ism along with the per­sona of Dr. Ambed­kar, en­com­passed in en­vi­ron­men­tally con­scious ar­chi­tec­ture.

The broad com­po­nents in­cluded a pub­lic li­brary, a

re­search cen­tre, re­search fa­cil­i­ties and a con­ven­tion cen­tre.

An ap­peal was is­sued to a large num­ber of in­sti­tu­tions, so­cial ac­tivists, civil so­ci­ety or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­di­vid­u­als, re­quest­ing them to of­fer their sug­ges­tions for the de­vel­op­ment of the project.

The start­ing point of the project was free­dom of ex­pres­sion and to bring unity of the in­side and out­side. The build­ing is de­signed as a con­tem­po­rary re­sponse to the chal­lenge of de­pict­ing ar­chi­tec­ture and democ­racy while re­vers­ing his­tor­i­cal tra­di­tions. It is con­cep­tu­alised as a build­ing with an in­ner core; an atrium con­tained within the outer shell which or­bits on the ideas of a free- flow­ing cir­cu­lar

con­fig­u­ra­tion of the in­ner cen­tre, ex­press­ing lib­er­al­i­sa­tion and free­dom with an el­e­gant ge­o­met­ri­cal con­trast to the square ge­om­e­try – a rigid con­strains of the outer block.

The build­ing form was derived on the per­sona of Dr. Ambed­kar, ex­em­pli­fy­ing sim­plic­ity and hon­esty – hence a square ( pure ge­o­met­ri­cal form) of 65×65m was taken as the foot­print to form a cuboid 20m high. One cor­ner of the cuboid has been trun­cated to high­light a 26m high bronze Asoka Stumbh, a prom­i­nent sym­bol of In­dian democ­racy.

The ar­chi­tec­ture of the build­ing is a fu­sion of con­tem­po­rary de­sign with sub­tle el­e­ments of Bud­dhist ar­chi­tec­ture.

The us­able com­po­nents of the build­ing re­volved around a cen­tral open- to- sky atrium span­ning the en­tire height of the build­ing closed with a translu­cent dome. The dome is de­signed as the “dharma chakra”, sym­bolic of the Con­sti­tu­tion of In­dia, al­ways cast­ing its shadow on the ground at dif­fer­ent time of the day.

The build­ing fa­cade fol­lows the mod­ern ver­sion of the ar­chi­tec­ture vo­cab­u­lary of Lu­tyens’ Delhi. The fa­cade has quarry fin­ish sand­stone cladding, which is in­trin­sic to the ar­chi­tec­ture of Lu­tyens’ Delhi. How­ever, a pat­tern in­spired and derived from the Pre­am­ble in a coded form has been de­vel­oped to cre­ate a con­tem­po­rary façade.

The wel­com­ing and grand fa­cades of the build­ings are an amal­ga­ma­tion of two thoughts – ex­te­rior re­flect­ing the sur­round­ing ur­ban precinct of New Delhi with the ar­chi­tec­ture vo­cab­u­lary of Lu­tyens’ Delhi em­bed­ded with the sub­tle el­e­ments of Bud­dhist ar­chi­tec­ture.

The build­ing is a mod­ern sculp­tural ed­i­fice com­pris­ing three parts – the for­mal ex­te­rior with the Bud­dhist sym­bol­ism, the cir­cu­lar atrium with a ver­ti­cal green wall which ties ar­chi­tec­ture with na­ture and the free flow­ing func­tional ar­eas in be­tween the two.

On en­ter­ing the build­ing, one ex­pe­ri­ences a bar­ri­er­free en­vi­ron­ment un­der the translu­cent dome with all the func­tional spa­ces placed on cir­cu­lar floor plans on the in­ner block; the form also over­looks the vis­ual ex­cite­ment of con­nec­tiv­ity within all the glazed floors.

El­e­va­tors wrapped in glass are flanked with ver­ti­cal green gar­den walls which con­trol the mi­cro cli­mate within. The con­tin­u­ous glass wall of the fa­cades on the in­ner side al­lows light into the in­te­rior with­out pro­duc­ing glare on the ad­ja­cent

streets be­cause of the ex­ter­nal pro­tec­tive build­ing block.

The floor plans, though ap­pear­ing to be free flow­ing, ex­press the logic be­hind the built mass to the user. The open plan of­fers ex­cel­lent us­able ar­eas stat­ics on each level.

The larger au­di­to­rium is placed di­ag­o­nally op­po­site the en­trance with a glass- lined foyer and 2 smaller au­di­to­ri­ums on each side bal­anc­ing the built mass.

The cafe­te­ria is placed on the top of the au­di­to­rium roof over­look­ing the in­ter­nal atrium, which can be ap­proached by the trans­par­ent cap­sule el­e­va­tors to catch spec­tac­u­lar views.

The jux­ta­po­si­tion­ing of these pub­lic and peo­ple- ori­ented func­tional ar­eas is such that the users would ex­pe­ri­ence the en­tire build­ing while go­ing to the cafe­te­ria and learn more about the cen­tre’s ac­tiv­i­ties.

The build­ing houses 6 floors, 2 base­ment for park­ing and ser­vices and 4 up­per floors for pub­lic and ad­min­is­tra­tive use.

The ground and first floor house the 700- seater au­di­to­rium, two 100- seater smaller au­di­to­ri­ums, ex­hi­bi­tion and con­fer­ence spa­ces for pub­lic util­ity.

The sec­ond and the third floor has the li­brary, con­fer­ence cen­tre and the of­fices of the foun­da­tion.


Client: Min­istry of So­cial Jus­tice and Em­pow­er­ment, NBCC In­dia Ltd. ( PMC)

De­sign team: Rahul Tyagi ( Prin­ci­pal Ar­chi­tect), Vargh­ese Chako, Harsh Verma,

Pardeep Sharma, Ab­hishek Sharma

Con­sul­tants: Pris­tine Ideas ( Struc­ture), Su­nil Nay­yar Con­sul­tants Pvt. Ltd.

( MEP), NMP De­signs Pvt. Ltd. ( Land­scape), Imag­ine BIM ( BIM)

Con­trac­tors: Parnika Com­mer­cials Pvt. Ltd.

Built- up area: 2,41,600sq ft

Cost of project: INR 165 Crore

Year of com­ple­tion: 2017

Rahul Tyagi






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