Area : 7500 Sq Ft
Location : IIT Madras, Tamil Nadu, India
Status : Completed
Project team :
The campus of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras at Adyar, Chennai stretches over 650 acres of reserve forest. Full of trees, monkeys, deer wandering around, the campus is a unique location which deserved a unique response to the Architectural program – which was to design a crèche for 100 children to be used by the 6000 odd on campus residents.
It was a verdant, lush setting in which it almost seems criminal to coop up kids inside rooms. This thought guided the design response and dictated the spatial planning.
So we created an open space /sand pit that cuts into the main play area. A huge banyan tree to the rear of the site was too beautiful to be hid by our building. We wanted to see it as you enter. The central hall was raised to double height and the tilted entrance wall / frame points towards the tree. Around the tree kids can sit around.. A curved bridge cuts across the sand pit. We built low height walls of various shapes with holes / gaps inside them so that children could slip through – go places where grown ups cannot. The approach was sculptural – Before these young minds fall into the trap of conformity, we wanted them to realize that all things are possible. Walls need not be straight, in fact can even have holes in it like cheese; an indoor space can have sand underfoot. To ask why not ? to believe that anything is possible, to not conform, to be free, to value that freedom.