Onto the evergreen city of India, Thiruvananthapuram with undulating terrain of low coastal hills being a habitat to various systems and belong to a prehistoric heritage and in reality, it is an embraced form of culture and tradition. The relic being positioned at 8.17° N and miniature of 54 km away from the dynamic waters of Indian Ocean. Presenting a hot and tropical climate typology with large forest reserves inducing heavy rains bracing warm winds near the coast with minimal diurnal variation. With the prestigious Arabian Sea on to the west put Thiruvananthapuram on a grandstand of sky-high relative humidity with ponderous South - West monsoons. Post the enchantress from June – September begins the petrifying North - East monsoon marked by thunderstorms with immense heat again. A season of relief commences from December - February combating all the heat encountered across the year. Considering these plausible conditions were translated into design considerations for a premise with a distinctive program on individual level.
The core objective behind this project resides in the principle that each level is with human comfort at the extremity using passive design methods. Thereby, it was intriguing to map the requirements according to the program allocated at a particular level. This highlights the bold impression of the climate - based location and social circle which encircles the design. In accordance with the considerations, the entire intervention was broken down into the principle elements around and about the location and these were individually backtracked systematically and holistically. These elements would be simplified under the following categories: -
Reading space (Library) – Deals with task specific activities and requirement of a private space bubble for individuals thereby should promote maximum indirect daylight, pre – cool the wind as an attempt to lower the temperature, promote cross ventilation to combat high humidity and fend off the monsoons.
Eating space (Cafeteria) – Deals with task specific activity and requirement for public seating and intricacy of cooking thereby maximize indirect light; primarily allowing east light into the kitchen, promote cross ventilation, stave off the precipitation and maximize cooling to combat the heat generated from the kitchen.
Working space (Administration Office) – Deals with task specific activity and requirement for private space bubble for individual thereby maximize indirect light, promote cross ventilation, ward off the precipitation and maximize cooling to combat the heat generated from the devices and pantry.
Learning space (Classroom) – Deals with task specific activities and requirement of a private space bubble for individuals thereby should promote maximum indirect daylight, pre – cool the wind as an attempt to lower the temperature, promote cross ventilation to combat high humidity and avert the monsoons.
Considering the requirements of individual spaces and the sequence of spaces with learning, working, eating and reading from top to bottom based on working hours, so cooling was a prime necessity due to heating along all the cardinal direction.
This was followed by analysis according to the orientation to accomplish facades relating to a common language across the structure which has a strong visual impact. Thereby, The North Facade received high intensity light so it required this solar heat to blocked. The Facade was set with a double wall and trifling opening of bricks which acts as a good insulator to combat the summer heat yet promote ventilation due to breathable wall with a value addition of play of light and shadow. Incorporation the staircase block is situated on the same façade to negate heat gain and enable circulation. ( Image Caption )
The East façade was to maximize indirect lighting and offer a view due to the presence of similar functions along the same direction. In addition to allow the escape of kitchen and working area heat from the same direction to assist the wind entering from the West and North – West. To achieve this a seamless bamboo arrangement was developed with extending slabs to act as self-shades and satisfy the requirements. ( Image Caption )
The South façade has requisites alike North and East façade in addition to fend off monsoons from South – West thereby a flap system was developed to shade from the South – West and South – East directions to reduce heat gain yet maximizing the indirect lighting due to reflections via these flaps. These flaps are a bamboo arrangement with a bend at the end to act a shade to the lowest level thereby offering a great view in addition making it visually lighter. ( Image Caption )
The West façade was primarily to allow winds blowing from the West to initiate cross ventilation yet negate heat gain hence was set with a series of brick arrangements acting like a screen of brick to cool the wind before it blows into the space aiding the cooling mechanism. And the bend acting as a self-shade to the underneath space. ( Image Caption )
The roof was crucial to the location due to the overhead heating of the sun hence a series of slopes were arranged with minute openings facing towards the west to allow wind to blow in yet the precipitation stayed out and the addition of surface promotes cooling of the wind before entering the space.
Thereby this elaborate series of trials and plotting gave out a set of technical drawings with the individual stylistic representations and various approaches to the same , thus deriving conclusions along the lines of the process. This turned to be a great attempt at exploring the hidden capabilities and subtle design considerations translated through the exercise.