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CSR for Tamil Nadu college

Hyderabad-based Studio Inscape has designed the Rev. Jacob Memorial Christian Arts College in Tamil Nadu, which was to redesign an existing arts college.

Spread over 15,000 sq. ft., the project required the demolition and rebuilding of the college’s roofs, corridors and pillars to make space for classrooms, administration rooms, and library. A double-height volume was created on the ground floor to accommodate the lobby and access to the library on the first floor. The new volume at the center of the linear block aimed to complete the existing structure, along with the addition of a main entrance into the block.

The corridors were extended to cut down the height and open up the space adjacent to the ground-floor block, to make room for extracurricular activities. Oriented to the north-south direction, the build enjoys the full advantage of the northern light by using the linear windows on the top of the classroom walls. Existing roof trusses were reused by adjusting the angles and sizes, along with high ceilings.

Suitable materials were chosen so that local labor known for their skill in civil work could work on the structure. The firm worked with coarse rubble stone (CRS) masonry, which had been popular till the 1960s. It was used as the structural support for the new extended block and to support the roof in the linear corridor. Locally sourced from a quarry located 30 km away, CRS masonry renders a visual appeal as it acts like the skin of the structure. Athangudi tiles were used for the flooring, which brought down the layering costs. Terracotta were used for the roofs and common areas as it is readily available and possesses climatic and vernacular benefits.