Plan A

Plan A

New York, NY


Plan A Announces Design for New Engineering University in India

Feb 22, '19 10:37 AM EST

NEW YORK - Plan A is pleased to announce that it was chosen to design Plaksha University, a new engineering and technology university in India. The university, which is being designed to net zero standards, will be located on a 50-acre plot in Mohali, India, a growing technology and engineering hub in the Chandigarh Tricity. The city of Chandigarh has a rich design history, having been designed by Le Corbusier, and serves as the capital of the Punjab and Haryana states. The university will serve 8,000 students, 6,000 of whom will live on campus, as well as several hundred faculty.

Founded by a team of over 40 business leaders, entrepreneurs and technology companies, Plaksha University seeks to remedy a quality gap in India’s engineering education. Leading the team is Vineet Gupta, who was instrumental in building Ashoka University, India’s first liberal arts institution. Gupta remarked: “Over 80% of engineering graduates are considered unemployable, not for lack of talent but because their education doesn’t measure up to international standards. Plaksha University will fix this gap through forward-thinking pedagogy, a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, and hands-on education.”

Plan A’s ground-up design for the university envisions a campus where cutting-edge educational practices combine with a healthy social environment. The plan for the campus works within Chandigarh’s Corbusian grid while subtly rejecting it with a self-defined central axis. This approach both creates a sense of community within the campus and optimizes buildings for passive cooling. To achieve net zero standards, the campus was designed in conjunction with India-based architects and engineers who provided valuable insights into traditional methods of natural ventilation and shading. This resulted in the inclusion of large atria in student housing that increase air flow and strategically placed bioswales that cool air as it passes through the campus.

At the heart of the campus is the dual-level Forum, the academic and social heart of the campus. Envisioning a year-round campus, the bottom level is designed to provide shade in the warmer months and social spaces for students and faculty to interact. On the top level, a series of bridges and crossings intersect each other, connecting Plaksha’s academic buildings. Small alcoves and grassy areas allow students to relax in the sun in the colder months. Aaron Schwarz, Principal-in-charge at Plan A said: “We designed the academic spaces for Plaksha’s educational approach, with non-siloed buildings that integrate student and faculty space. Plan A’s design breaks down traditional hierarchies by combining disciplines and encouraging interaction between faculty and students.”

The project was inaugurated with a foundation stone laying ceremony in Chandigarh this past Saturday. The campus will be constructed in four phases, with the first phase completed in time to welcome students for the 2021 academic year.