Architectural Group: M:OFA Studios
Manish Gulati (Principal Architect)
Tanushree Gulati (Principal Planner)
Abhinav Chaudhary (Project Head)
Abhinandan Mandal, Akriti Singh, Rohit Garg, Shabina Shahin
Consultants: Structural Consultant (Roark Consultant), MEP Consultants (Spectral Services)
Project Location: Kangra, Himanchal Pradesh (India)
Project Year: 2010 (Ongoing)
Project Area: 24000 sq. mt
Project Type: Institutional
Image Copyright/Courtesy: M:OFA Studios
Known for the fluid expression in their designs and treating every architectural unit as a living organism, M:ofa studios designed the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) Campus in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. Enriched with natural surroundings and excellent topography, it was a challenging as well as exciting design opportunity calling for a sustainable green design solution.
The conceptualization of the NIFT Kangra campus begins with understanding fashion design as an art form, as an expression of human imagination and creative skills crafted into wearables or personal assets.
“We feel that fashion design is essentially the art of combining visual graphic with textural quality in order to enhance the usability and sensual appeal of our everyday things, especially human clothing. However, visual appeal as a characteristic is shared amongst many art forms, the textural appeal or the appeal of touch, has found profound expression only as fashion design. Hence, we chose to weave the building with the surrounding context and the immediate site; a visual graphic rich in textural depth and variations, yet flowing with the natural built fabric, where paths in the forests grow into the streets of a future urban fabric and the fields translate into urban footprints.” says M:ofa studios
The knitting threads were drawn from the existing agricultural fields, running along the hill contours, were then woven together to make a uniformly flowing pattern of many intersecting cuboids.
The pattern closely follows the site contours, but gets disturbed when the natural ‘void’ is encountered, causing a flux in the flow of the built form. The pattern thereby encircles around the natural ‘void’ as per the natural tendency of matter.
The design then develops vertically as an abstraction of the way the great himalayans developed, layers of matter folding onto each other, twisting with sudden forces, leaving inbetween gaps or cracks in the process, that become the passages and places of various kinds of interactions.
The site allocated for the new NIFT in Kangra is strategically located with the river valley on the west and view of the great dhauladhar mountains on the north east.
The building is designed so as to benefit these breathtakingly beautiful views along the whole stretch of the institute. With the above as a matter of concern the institutional part is strategically placed on the top most level while the residential sits on a more humble low lying area of the site.
The design bagged first place in a national architectural competition.